The Penrith Panthers bounced back from their first loss of the season last week to defeat an undefeated Wyong Roos side 32-10 at Pepper Stadium.
Dylan Edwards was electric at fullback for the Panthers, showing his class by having a hand in various tries while putting his body on the line when required.
On their first attacking opportunity, Penrith were not afraid to throw the ball around and play “razzle dazzle” footy, which fractured the Wyong defence. The next play, a right-to-left shift highlighted by the slick hands of Edwards allowed Tyrone May to stroll over for the opening try.
The Roos dominated the next stage of the game in terms of field position and possession, but were unable to trouble the scoreboard attendant, which was made worse when they conceded a mid-field penalty followed by a try; a classy show-and-go by the ever-reliable Mitch Rein.
The points then dried up with a majority of the contest being played in the middle third of the field, with both sides having limited attacking opportunities.
Wyong took their chance just before half-time when Mitch Cornish put in a cross-field kick for Brendan Frei, who skilfully caught the ball and threw it over his head for Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck to run around his opponent and post first points for the Roos.
Heartbreak for the Roos leading into the break however, when Darren Nicholls threw a perfect short-pass for Kaide Ellis to hit a hole and plant the ball down when the scoreboard clock read zero.
That try gave the Panthers a 16-4 lead at half-time.
Alike the try on the other side of the break, Nicholls was involved in another try featuring a short-pass and a beautiful hole-run, but this time it was the halfback who scored thanks to some wonderful Moses Leota ball-playing skills.
Wyong hit back in the 61st minute when Cornish and Mitch Williams combined for a series of short passes that eventually found Poasa Faamausili, who was able to accelerate through a hole and muscle his way over the line to reduce the deficit to 22-10.
Penrith sealed the game when Tim Browne took advantage of a Wyong error by picking up a loose ball, handed it off to Samisoni Langi, who charged towards the posts, before passing to Michael Oldfield to complete the try.
During the play, Josh Mantellato was knocked out and had to be assisted off the field, and walked up the tunnel in a bad state.
A line-break from Edwards put the Panthers immediately back on the attack, before they reverted to the “razzle dazzle” style of play from the start of the game for Jed Cartwright to score in the corner to win the game 32-10.
Penrith Panthers 32 (T May, M Rein, K Ellis, D Nicholls, M Oldfield, J Cartwright tries; D Nicholls 4 goals) def Wyong Roos 10 (J Tuivasa-Sheck, P Faamausili tries; J Mantellato goal)