Panthers beat Manly to end hoodoo
10 July, 2017, 12:00 am
THE Penrith Panthers have held on for a gritty 16-8 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles after being kept tryless in the second half at Pepper Stadium.
Two penalty goals from Nathan Cleary cancelled out a four-pointer to Tom Trbojevic in the second period after a lacklustre performance from both outfits compounded with a lopsided 14-4 penalty count in favour of the home side.
It was an important win for the Anthony Griffin’s men on the back of a 28-point thrashing to the Rabbitohs last start, with the victory keeping the side in the race for a top eight spot at the end of the season.
Penrith were gifted opportunities to attack on the back of a 9-2 penalty count in the opening half, however they lacked the polish at the back-end of the sets to take full advantage until a late try to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak delivered an eight-point lead at the break.
With all the talk of a fired up Daly Cherry-Evans throughout the week, the former Australian international showed signs of class but was well maintained particularly at the backend of the contest.
Dylan Walker coughed up the ball in the opening set of the game that allowed the Panthers an early chance to attack with James Tamou showing strength to reach out and plant the ball on the line in the third minute.
The Sea Eagles forced back-to-back sets through Cherry-Evans and halves partner Blake Green to get the visitors on the board eight minutes later.