WINS | [2004] Round 22: Penrith 72 Manly 12

Saturday 7th August 2004 at Panthers Stadium

Penrith 72: Wesser (3), Fa’aoso (2), Lewis (2), Roberts (2), Campbell (1), Galea (1), Gower (1), Whatuira (1); Goals: Roberts (10) |  Manly 12

More: themightypanthers.com/match0878.htm

Penrith opened the scoring after 5 minutes when Amos Roberts took a Preston Campbell cut out pass and crossed the line untouched. He was not able convert his own try though and the Panthers held a 4-0 lead.

Manly soon hit back with a try of their own to lead 6-4.

However, the Panthers soon struck back with an individual effort to Craig Gower where he ran an angle towards the left flank and the defensive indecisions created a gap which he ran through to have Penrith lead 8-6.

At the midway point of the first half, the lead it became 14-6 when Luke Lewis scored and was converted by Roberts.

With 13 minutes remaining, Trent Waterhouse split the line off an inside pass from Gower and found Rhys Wesser charging through on his left hand side, whom then crossed under the posts.

The Panthers let the ball bounce dead off the restart and Manly took advantage of the possession and scored their second try to reduce Penrith’s lead to 8.

However, soon after the Panthers restored their previous lead when Preston Campbell split the line 45 metres out after stepping his way through the defensive line was able to find Lewis for him to cross for his second.

Wesser would score his second try close to half time, once again off a line break, this time off Luke Priddis and the home team had scored five first half tries to lead 30-12 at half time.

Two minutes into the second half, Wesser had crossed for a hat trick when he took a Campbell cut out pass and split the line, despite evading a missed tackle was still made to work for the try, ending up using his outstretched arm to plant it over the line.

With close to half an hour remaining, Danny Galea made the try scorers list when he burst on to a Priddis pass and fell over the line, and Penrith were leading 42-12.

Five minutes later, Richard Fa’aoso took the ball from 30 metres out and barged his way through the feeble Manly defence to score his first NRL try.

With 21 minutes remaining Penrith hit 50 when Priddis was able to split the line from almost a standing start and found Campbell in support to cross under the posts, with Roberts’ conversion making it 54-12.

Paul Whatuira picked up a loss pass 10 metres out and jinked his way through the defence to score with just over 10 minutes remaining.

When Fa’aoso’s second try, quite opportunistic based on a Manly attempt to stop a Gower pass at close range ricocheted and landed in the in goal, with the conversion making it 66-12.

Penrith’s 13th and final try scored in the dying minutes showed the luck that was running with the home side, with a Craig Gower kick to the corner bouncing perfectly for Roberts to cross in the corner. That try also saw the Panthers reach 70, and in the process eclipse their biggest ever score of 68 made against the Northern Eagles in 2002. The conversion made it a 56 point margin, overtaking the 54 point margin made against Western Suburbs in 1999, and Roberts’ 28 point haul from 2 tries and 10 goals equalled the club record for most points in a match that had been held by Ryan Girdler.

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