Penrith Panthers overcome Canterbury Bulldogs regardless of lack of State of Origin firepower

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Penrith have shrugged off their slew of Origin absentees to drag off a comparatively comfy win over the Bulldogs, successful 30-18 at Penrith Stadium.

Regardless of lacking the likes of co-captains Nathan Cleary and Isaah Yeo in addition to Jarome Luai, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton and Liam Martin, Penrith had greater than sufficient firepower to cope with a Bulldogs team that relied on moments of magic from two of New South Wales’ forgotten sons to maintain the rating shut.

Every of Canterbury’s first two tries – one quick and one lengthy vary – got here through the boot of Matt Burton steering the ball to Josh Addo-Carr, whereas the previous Panther added the Bulldogs’ third with a solo effort.

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It wasn’t sufficient, nevertheless, and Jaeman Salmon’s late strive gave Penrith some respiratory room as they cruised to the end line.

The story of stand-in playmaker Kurt Falls had been doing the rounds all week – a former schoolboy companion of Cleary’s, he made his first grade debut tonight after plying his commerce in Penrith’s decrease grades for a number of years.

He could not have requested for a significantly better begin, as his kick from former Bulldog Chris Smith for the opener, earlier than Penrith added three extra first half tries by means of Dylan Edwards, Taylan Might and Viliame Kikau.

Oddly, with out all of that firepower, Penrith produced their highest-scoring first half of the season – however they solely managed eight factors after the restart.

“At the beginning of the second half, we simply could not construct strain with our final performs, which we’re usually actually good at,” coach Ivan Cleary stated afterwards – however stated he was happy with the efficiency.

It was on this corresponding time of the season in 2021 when the Panthers’ undefeated season ended by the hands of the Wests Tigers – however they saved their nerve tonight.

“Everybody did their job. I believed among the boys who’re regulars within the team, they actually in all probability realized from final yr,” he stated – singling out James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau, Dylan Edwards and Moses Leota for reward.

“I believe everybody simply had a bit extra dedication this yr to guarantee that we did get it proper,” Cleary stated.

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The Bulldogs proceed to wrestle, even with a brand new coach – though their three video games beneath interim coach Mick Potter have yielded their three greatest attacking performances of the yr by way of factors scored.

Penrith will probably see all their Origin stars return next week when they do not play till Sunday afternoon in opposition to Newcastle.

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