Nathan Cleary has kicked any issues about Penrith’s late season type to the kerb as he led the Panthers to a 25-12 win over fellow top-three facet South Sydney.
In a press release sport simply three weeks out from the finals, the Panthers got here again from 12-0 down to finish Souths’ 10-game successful streak.
Nevertheless it wasn’t simply the scoreline at Suncorp Stadium that can function a warning to ladder leaders Melbourne and the Rabbitohs, as they placed on an virtually good second half.
Persevering with his return from a shoulder harm, Cleary was again to his outdated self as he terrorised former teammate Josh Mansour along with his bombs, whereas Paul Momirovski turned an unlikely hero along with his boot.
The Panthers additionally loved an 11-2 penalty rely of their favour, as they rolled out their strongest facet in two months with ex-Brisbane enforcer Tevita Pangai Junior debuting they usually have James Fisher-Harris nonetheless to come back again.
The one fear was a concussion suffered by fullback Dylan Edwards, however Stephen Crichton starred in his absence.
Notably, the win got here towards the identical membership the Panthers will virtually definitely face in a qualifying last in three weeks time.
Cleary created one thing out of nothing for the Panthers’ first factors after he put Kurt Capewell into area and Momirovski kicked again in discipline for him to attain.
It was one in all two tries arrange by a Momirovski kick, with the centre-turned-winger additionally kicking shallow for Crichton on halftime to make it 12-10.
Cleary then saved Penrith locked on the Rabbitohs’ line within the second half, with a Tom Burgess excessive deal with and a Mark Nicholls downtown penalty permitting the half to kick the Panthers to a lead.
And after Matt Burton put winger Brent Naden over unmarked, it was a Cleary discipline purpose from 20m out that wrapped up the sport earlier than a late Api Koroisau strive.
“That is what he does,” coach Ivan Cleary stated of son Nathan.
“That is why he’s so necessary to the crew. We obtained a variety of outcomes out of his kicks within the second half significantly.
“We had been capable of dominate discipline place and possession and that was in all probability the factor that obtained us residence.”
The consequence means South Sydney will enter the finals with out a win over both the Panthers or Melbourne this season.
Whereas they conceded 50 towards each these sides earlier this yr, Friday night time at Suncorp Stadium at the very least confirmed how far they’ve come since.
However they nonetheless have some option to go.
Their first strive got here after an Edwards error and their second by means of Latrell Mitchell was after an ideal Adam Reynolds 40-20, however they lacked the impetus within the second half.
Playmaker Cody Walker was unable to make the identical impression he has previously three months, whereas none of their ahead ran 100 metres.
“It was lots higher than Dubbo (towards Penrith in Could), we have come that far,” coach Wayne Bennett stated.
“We have simply obtained a couple of extra issues now we have to repair up a little bit bit extra. We have been fairly constant on that stuff, it simply fell aside tonight.”
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