Here’s my thoughts on the Panthers Round 2 clash with the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs 18 (Mbye 2, Hopoate tries; Holland 2, Mbye goals) defeated Panthers 16 (Hiku, McKendry tries; Soward 4 goals)
- Correcting the final twenty to bring success
Last week in Canberra the Panthers struggled in the first twenty and final twenty. The forty minutes in between was excellent.
This week we saw a solid sixty minutes from the boys as we led 16-6.
Moses Mbye had other thoughts on the result and crashed over twice, including in the final twenty seconds bringing back sore memories from Penrith’s last trip to Suncorp Stadium where they were pipped at the posts 8-5.
If the Panthers can work under fatigue and complete a full eighty, good things are only around the corner.
- Peter Wallace at hooker
A little déjà vu for Peter Wallace from his Broncos days where he was extensively used at hooker under our current coach Anthony Griffin.
With Tyrone Peachey selected at nine, it was Wallace who made the position his own especially in the second half with some good quality passing combined with a kicking game out of dummy half.
With James Segeyaro out for an extended period, there’s no reason against Wallace being selected next week at hooker.
If this is the case, it’s time to unleash the beast in Te Maire Martin.
- McKendry, Campbell-Gillard form
One of the reasons why Penrith will be the highest ranking side in both weeks to lose can be put down to these two men.
Sam McKendry has exploded out of the blocks in 2016 and along the way broken a try scoring drought going back to March 24, 2013.
As for Reagan Campbell-Gillard. He has “representative” stamped all over him for 2015. He must play in the City-Country in rep round! A wonderful hit on Aidan Tolman put the Bulldogs hard man out for the rest of the game.
RCG has only played 26 National Rugby League games but he’s ready to make an impression at a higher level despite being relatively young at 22 years of age.
- Taking the two costly
Ten minutes into the second half the Panthers were gifted a penalty in front of the Bulldogs posts. Many, like Fox Sport’s Andrew Voss couldn’t believe the Panthers opted to take the two points. Considering the Panthers were ahead 14-6 it still would have only been one converted try ahead.
This option proved to be costly with Kerrod Holland’s boot launching him into some cult figure following on Twitter.
It’s fair to say the Panthers try denied to Josh Mansour was another turning point in the game.
However, I wonder if the decision will be different next time when leading by less than two converted tries?