Pups Fall to Panthers in Season Opener
A dominant first half from the Panthers NYC side paved the way for them to register a 30-12 victory over the Bulldogs at Pepper Stadium.
It was five tries to two at the end of 80 minutes with the 24-nil lead to the home side at half-time proving too hard to come back from.
There were two changes made to the side with Tuuta Langi and Gillespie Fa’i being ruled out due to injury with John Fomai and Harry Pondekas coming into the side.
In extremely hot conditions, the Panthers ran riot throughout the first 40 minutes running in four tries, to the Bulldogs nil.
It was a tight affair in the opening 10 minutes with both sides working their way into the match before back rower Elkander Fairouz broke through to open the home side’s account. Winger Dylan Edwards converted to put the lead out to 6-nil.
Just two minutes later the lead was extended through fullback Tyrone May before lock forward Dylan Fuad went in 10 minutes later to make it an almost unassailable task for the young pups. Both tries were converted by Edwards with the score now 18-nil.
With five minutes remaining the Panthers went in for their fourth of the afternoon through centre Brent Naden. It was inside ball that put the centre into open space and he went into score under the uprights. Edwards converted giving the home side a 24-nil lead at the half-time break.
The message at half-time was to start again and go back to what they do best, and that’s what they did. The heat was starting to play its part and gaps were starting to get bigger and in the 50th minute fullback Josh Bergamin crossed to open the young pups account. Brendan Cox converted to close the gap to 24-6.
Eight minutes later they added to the score through winger Joe Burchell. It was some enterprising play that saw a number of offloads before Burchell went over in the corner to score. Cox converted to pull the lead back to 12 points, 24-12.
It was the Panther turn to pull out some offloads and off the back of three, interchange forward Maliko Falino took the ball to go over untouched to score. Edwards made it five from five for the afternoon and the lead was back out to 18 points, 30-12 after 68 minutes.
PANTHERS 30 (Fairouz, May, Fuad, Naden Tries; Edwards 5 Goals) Def. BULLDOGS 12 (Bergamin, Burchall Tries; Cox 2 Goals)
At: Pepper Stadium, Penrith