NRL Round 11 – Match 5 Results: Penrith Panthers 31 v 16 Canterbury Bulldogs

On Monday night at CUA Stadium, the Panthers enjoyed a big win ahead of the Bulldogs, maintaining the number two spot on the NRL ladder.

Now nearly half-way through the season, Penrith have managed to hold on to a top eight position with seven wins from 10 and are looking closer and closer each round of making the finals for the first time in six seasons.

It was another disappointing match for the Bulldogs who are at number 12 on the ladder, Canterbury having now lost their past three games. This was always going to be a tough match for the Doggies as they were weakened by the loss of three of their best; Kimmorley, Ennis and Idris all away at camp Origin.

But no one was expecting just how good the Panthers were going to be, with Michael Gordon leading the way scoring a hat-trick of tries and converting five from five to singlehandedly score 22 of Penrith’s 31 match points.

The Bulldogs felt the pressure right from the kick off, and it was Penrith who scored first when Tim Grant got over nine minutes in. The try was converted by Gordon and the home side were six in front after 10 minutes.

Canterbury didn’t put any points on the board until the 31st minute when Steve Turner got over, but Bryson Goodwin missed the kick and they still trailed by two.

In a sensational lead-up to the break, Gordon scored a first half double for the Panthers a mere five minutes apart, getting over in the 35th and 40th minutes. He again converted both tries and Penrith went into half time with a convincing 18 – 6 lead.

The second half was again dominated by the Panthers, as Shane Elford scored a converted try after another accurate bomber from Luke Walsh just three minutes in, to extend their lead by another six before Gordon completed his hat trick in the 68th minute, kicking his own try to take them to 30 points.

In between Penrith’s two second half tries Canterbury’s skipper Andrew Ryan did manage to get across in the 60th minute, Goodwin kicking it through the posts to narrow their deficit.

With five minutes left on the clock it seemed the final score would stand 30 – 10 in favour of the Panthers, but as it was both teams still had points in them yet.

First Shane Neumann got over for the Bulldogs, the conversion giving them a total of 16 points, then not to be outdone Penrith’s Luke Walsh kicked a field goal in the 77th minute to put the result beyond doubt with a final point for the Panthers.

This week the Bulldogs face another tough test playing the Storm at AAMI Park while the Panthers heat to ANZ Stadium to try their luck against the Rabbitohs, and Ladbrokes.com.au have the best Rugby League Betting odds for these matches and the rest of the round.