The Penrith Panthers have made another statement in their premiership defence, cruising to a 32-12 win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
It all started in promising fashion for the Roosters, who defender their line with intent and repelled a number of Panthers raids.
Patience wore thin though as the Panthers ran rampant, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves sent to the sin bin later in the second half after a fiery blow-up at referee Gerard Sutton.
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“You put me on report every chance you get, every f***ing time,” he was overheard saying after being placed on report for a high shot on James Fisher-Harris.
It capped off a disappointing night for the Roosters in what Michael Ennis said was “exactly the test they needed” pre-game.
Fresh off an upset win over Parramatta, the Roosters were looking to claim another big scalp.
They had the right attitude early, denying the Panthers despite some smart short-range kicking from Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai.
It was a tight tussle for the opening 30 minutes before Isaah Yeo broke the game open, drifting across the field and putting Scott Sorensen through a gaping hole.
He then linked with Jarome Luai, who scored and quickly made it two tries a few minutes later as the Panthers suddenly raced out to a 12-0 lead.
In what Andrew Voss called a “hammer blow”, Apisai Koroisau then snuck out of dummy-half right before halftime to push the buffer out to 18 at the break.
The Roosters had plenty of chances to hit back early in the second half as the Panthers failed to record a single tackle in the opposition half in the first 18 minutes.
It did not matter though, with Stephen Crichton snatching a crossfield kick and racing away to make it 24-0 after 58 minutes.
A string of passes and offloads eventually saw the Roosters trouble the scoreboard as James Tedesco scored in the 61st minute.
But Penrith’s dominance resumed shortly after as Fisher-Harris charged over, with Cleary adding an extra two points for the Waerea-Hargreaves high shot.
Paul Momirovski scored a late consolation try against his former teammates but it was the Panthers finishing dominant 32-12 winners.
Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 14. Drew Hutchison 17. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 13. Nat Butcher 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 9. Connor Watson 15. Fletcher Baker 19. Egan Butcher 24. Terrell May
Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. ScottSorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon. 18th man: 24. Charlie Staines