NRL Round 13 – Match 3 Results: Penrith Panthers 28 v 10 Newcastle Knights

The rising Penrith Panthers held strongly onto their spot in the top two with a comprehensive 28 – 10 victory ahead of the Knights at CUA Stadium on Saturday.

After 13 weeks the Panthers are in an excellent position of making the NRL finals for the first time since 2006, sitting at number two on the ladder with eight wins and 18 competition points.

Saturday’s big win made up for their dismal 22 – 42 loss to the Rabbitohs in Round 12, and they are now just two competition points behind the mighty Dragons.

Newcastle failed to fire this week after coming off a bye and lost their second game in a row following their loss to the Tigers in Round 11.

The Knights were in trouble from the start when they let the Panthers get ahead 18 to nil at half time and never really looked a chance.

Penrith began their assault in the 13th minute when Gavin Cooper got across and Michael Gordon’s conversion had them leading by six.

Just six minutes later they increased their lead by another converted try, this time the four-pointer easily scored by former Knights player Brad Tighe in the corner, his first of an eventual double.

The Panthers were in-form and gaining momentum, and Michael Jennings scored their third try in the 29th minute after a brilliant kick from another former Newcastle player Luke Walsh. Gordon converted again giving them a tidy 18 point lead against a still scoreless Knights side heading into the break.

In the second half things looked like they might improve for the visitors as Akuila Uate finally opened Newcastle’s account with an acrobatic try just two minutes into the second half. But as Gidley missed the kick they still trailed by 14.

They were next to score again though when James McManus got over in the 62nd minute and this time Gidley booted it through the posts to narrow their deficit to a more manageable 18 – 10 with just under 20 minutes still left to play.

But from there on it was the Panthers till the end, Newcastle unable to get any more points on the board while the home side got in two more unanswered tries before the final whistle.

Tighe was first, making it a match double in the 69th minute, and then with about 60 seconds left on the clock Lachlan Coote put the icing on the cake with a 79th minute try, converted by Gordon so the Panthers won 28 – 10.

It wasn’t all good news for the Panthers however, who have lost five-eighth Travis Burns for up to a month after he tore his hamstring, and Luke Lewis has a nervous wait while the NRL board decides whether to suspend him for a lifting tackle on Matt Hilder, leaving him unable to play for NSW in Origin II.

This week the Panthers have a bye while the Knights return home to Energy Australia Stadium where they stand a good chance against the Warriors. To get behind the Knights, or to back the Warriors for an upset, visit Ladbrokes.com.au.