REPORT: Newtown v Penrith
A poor completion rate has allowed the Penrith Panthers to pile on the points against the Newtown Jets at Henson Park, putting an official line through the Bluebags’ finals hopes for season 2017.
The Panthers were strong across the park, with all members of the spine showing their class in the 46-10 display that led to both wingers Maika Sivo and Christian Crichton scoring two tries apiece.
As the best defensive team in the competition, the Panthers were on song without the ball once again this afternoon, restricting the Jets only to 10 points and forcing plenty of errors with ruthless contact.
Penrith started the match poorly, failing to complete both of their opening sets that gifted the Jets into prime field position. The class of mid-season signing Adam Clydsdale was on show early when he shaped to go right, instead darted left and put Edrick Lee in for the opening try.
Newtown committed the cardinal sin when they dropped the ball off the kick-off, but got out of jail when the Panthers were penalised for a double movement in the act of scoring.
The Jets enjoyed much of the possession but their completion rate started to let them down, and despite having almost no ball, the Panthers were next to score when Jarome Luai created something out of nothing, found space, and handed the ball off for Liam Coleman to stroll over next to the posts.
After conceding a penalty and making an error shortly afterwards, Newtown were on the back-foot, and a simple shift to the right allowed Maika Sivo to score with a mountain of room outside him to extend the Panthers’ lead to 12-6.
Another error from the home side once again proved costly and the Panthers were once again able to capitalise when Jed Cartwright threw an around-the-corner pass for Christian Crichton to score in the other corner of the field; this time Darren Nicholls was unable to convert after slotting a brilliant goal on the previous try.
The floodgates began to open at the back end of the first half when Crichton beautifully sold an enormous dummy before gliding down the left touchline to score just before the buzzer was sounded.
Tyla Tamou - the fleet-footed winger from Newtown – started the second half off perfectly for his side, scoring inside the opening minute to peg the difference back to 10.
A Mitch Rein 40/20 out of dummy half followed by a forced dropout put massive pressure on the home side, and when Coleman threw a perfect pass to Viliame Kikau, the gap opened up in front of him and he strolled over to extend the lead once more.
Errors costing the Jets dearly seemed to be the theme of the afternoon, once again the Panthers scoring a simple try off the back of poor ball control. It only took one tackle to get out of their own half, before Dean Whare put Sivo – who is no stranger to the try line - in for his second try.
In what was a frustrating day for Newtown, Edrick Lee gave the fans something to cheer about when he chased down a flying Liam Coleman, who looked certain to score in place, forcing the ball loose.
Nick Lui-Toso crashed over for a strong try to put the icing on the cake for the Panthers, before Thomas Eisenhuth slipped through in the final minute of the match, capping off a commanding victory at Henson Park.
Penrith Panthers 46 (C Crichton 2, M Sivo 2, L Coleman, V Kikau, N Lui Toso, T Eisenhuth tries; D Nicholls 7 goals) def Newtown Jets 10 (E Lee, T Tamou tries; J Paulo goal)