Round 18 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW saw eight teams take the field as the Wests Tigers, Mounties, Illawarra and Warriors all enjoyed a week off. The Magpies continued their strong run of form with a hard-fought 22-10 victory over the Jets, while the Bears and Knights recorded upset wins over the Roos and Bulldogs respectively. The Panthers were at also their clinical best on Saturday afternoon, dominating a poor Blacktown outfit 54-0 in arguably the most one-sided game of 2017.
The Panthers were enjoying considerable success after just edging out the Warriors and Bears in recent fixtures but put in a commanding performance that saw them record a 10-try haul. The most eye-catching statistic was evident through the polar opposite displays of their forward parks, who ran for 1,000 more metres than the Workers who had just one player run for more than 100 metres.
Maintaining 62 per cent of possession helped the Workers deliver a perfect attacking display with 11 line-breaks while completing at 76 per cent - causing significant havoc for the Workers defensive line who missed a whopping 75 tackles.
The Sea Eagles will undoubtedly be looking to earn back some respect in their clash against the Knights this weekend, after completing at just 48 per cent and making 17 errors in a all-round poor performance.
Brendan Attwood put in a strong performance in a losing side, recording a round-high 49 tackles in an impressive 80 minute stint, while Panthers front-row combination of Village Kikau and Moses Leota were most dominant as they combined for 425 running metres.
The North Sydney Bears finally put together a well-structured attacking performance after scoring more than 20 points for the first time since Round 9 this year. While enjoying 53% per cent of possession, head coach Ben Gardiner will be most impressed with their discipline with the ball-in-hand having completed at 82% per cent, however conceded 12 penalties which almost invited the Roos back into the contest on numerous occasions.
With the Roos remarkable undefeated streak since Round 4 now cut short, they will be desperate to regain their form within the coming weeks after completing at just 66 per cent and running for 300 metres less than the Bears.
The Bears dynamic back-row contingent of Jack Gosiewski, Cameron Murray, Kyle Turner were instrumental in their teams victory, all running for over 100 metres each while working tirelessly in defence with 22, 40 and 35 tackles respectively.
The Magpies continued their purple patch of form with a grinding 22-10 victory over a struggling Newtown Jets on Saturday afternoon. It was a fairly even contest with both teams sharing 50 per cent possession and completing at 70 per cent while also recording three line-breaks each.
The point of difference came through instrumental performances from George Jennings and Magnus Stromquist, with Jennings scoring two vital tries while also running for 258 metres and Stromquist putting in 47 bone-crunching tackles to go with 158 running metres of his own.
The Bulldogs were flying high as a string of victories put them in the top four of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, but were unable to cement their spot with a 24-4 loss to the Newcastle Knights. After being kept scoreless throughout the entire first-half, the Bulldogs were unable to hit back in the second half despite both teams having an equal share of possession and both completing above 70 per cent.
The Knights put in a clinical opening 40 minutes after completing at 85 per cent in the first stanza, and continued their dominance through the likes of Tyrone Amey and Pat Mata’utia who ran for 111 and 137 metres respectively.
For the Bulldogs, Josh Cleeland put in another classy performance with one try assist and two line-break-assists, while Rod Griffin continued his powerful form through the middle-third with 45 tackles and 173 running metres.
View the full stats reports from each of the games below - and check out the Round 18 Team of the Week.