Panthers can purr
THEY were the fairytale story of last season. After after another injury- plagued start to 2015, the mighty Panthers are back on the prowl.
On the coldest night of the NRL season so far, Penrith’s home grown sensation Bryce Cartwright starred in a comprehensive 20- 6 victory over a disappointing South Sydney.
In what was undoubtedly their best performance of the season, the Panthers raced in four tries to one with the supremely gifted Cartwright unloading his full bag of tricks while skipper Peter Wallace was inspirational.
Still missing four of their biggest stars in Matt Moy- lan, James Segeyaro, Jamal Idris and Josh Mansour, the Panthers made the reigning premiers look second rate.
South Sydney’s forgettable night was made worse with John Sutton finishing the game on the bench with his arm wrapped in ice.
The luckless Dave Tyrrell was also stretchered off after a heavy head collision with Nigel Plum.
Cartwright was phenomenal with a performance former Penrith legend Mark Geyer described as the 20year- old’s “breakout game” as he played a significant role in two tries.
Wallace also scored one try, threw the final pass for another and stopped three more with some tremendous efforts that highlighted what a vital game this was for his team.
It gave the Panthers back to back wins and puts them on 18 competition points to keep them in touch with the top eight.
The next two weeks will also be crucial. They take on the Roosters at home next week before they travel to Melbourne for a post Origin Friday night blockbuster.
Souths have the bye next week.
Penrith went to the break ahead 8- 0 after an outstanding first half performance. They scored two spectacular tries, had one disallowed and saved at least four with desperate tryline defence.
Wallace’s desperation won him the race for a crucial try early in the second half. Chasing a Soward grubber, Wallace looked no chance to score before Alex Johnston kicked at the bouncing ball and missed as Wallace pounced.
Waqa Blake touched down for the fourth unanswered try in the 62nd minute to push the lead to 18- 0.
IMPACT PLAYER: Bryce Cartwright was one of the players to have a strong hand in the Panthers’ convincing victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs last night. Picture: CAMERON SPENCER