Infotainment Factory: Panthers survive furious late Manly charge

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Thursday, 30 May 2019

Panthers survive furious late Manly charge


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Veteran Panthers halfback James Maloney has turned back the clock with a vintage performance as the Panthers held off a late Manly Sea Eagles charge.

The Panthers looked headed towards an easy win when leading 15-0 before two late Sea Eagles tries made for a nervy finish before the 15-12 win at Panthers Stadium.

In the absence of Blues Origin halfback Nathan Cleary, the Panthers relied heavily on the experience of Maloney, an Origin snub this year, to lead a young side and he mentioned the importance of stringing back-to-back wins together.

“I thought it was really important for us,” Maloney told Nine’s Macca’s Golden Point.

“The boys had a really gusty win last week and it would have been a shame to see that go back into another loss.

Penrith Panthers

“A little bit disappointed that we let it get a bit close at the end there, but it’s just nice to churn out another two points and build on that.”

In Cleary’s absence, Maloney was paired with young half-back Jarome Luai, and showcased his masterful kicking game to free up the youngster, and he expanded on the importance of kicking.

“Kicking game (was) really important to free Jarome up to play eyes-up footy,” he said.

“He’s such a talented player and he’s got such great feet. If I can sort of steer him around and kick well into corners, and hopefully that goes a long way to getting the job done.”

James Maloney

Luai, who starred in both Cleary and Maloney’s absence during last year’s Origin period, was impressive once again and touched on the improved morale in the Panthers’ camp after a win.

“Yeah a lot more fun, a lot more smiles on the park with the boys and a much more enjoyable week,” he told Nine.

“The clock was going so slow (in the final 10 minutes). I was sort of glimpsing at the clock there. I knew the boys would hang tough.

“We were good last week in our defence and we defended our line well so props to the boys.”

Panther placed on report

Playing just the sixth game of his first grade career, Liam Martin was arguably the best Panther on the field, setting up the team's first try before scoring the second in an eye-catching effort.

The 22-year-old was a last-minute inclusion against the Sea Eagles after second-rower Viliame Kikau was ruled out before kick-off due to an illness, and didn't disappoint, spearheading Penrith to an unlikely 15-0 lead with 16 minutes to go before the Sea Eagles roared back.

Another rookie, five-eighth Cade Cust, put Manase Fainu over and then scored one himself in the space of six minutes to set up a grandstand finish at Panthers Stadium.

But Penrith just held on to record back-to-back victories for the first time this season, and temporarily move to 14th spot on the ladder.

Liam Martin

Manly drop to seventh after losing for the third time in four games.

Kikau's withdrawal added to a match-up that was already missing State of Origin trio Jake Trbojevic, Daly Cherry-Evans and Nathan Cleary.

Penrith pair Dean Whare, Waqa Blake and Manly duo Tom Trbojevic and Moses Suli were also missing through injury.

The lack of star power resulted in just 7,981 turning up on a bitterly cold night at - Penrith's lowest attendance in four years.

Cust scores remarkable try

However, Panthers faithful were rewarded with the competition points and a strong performance by Temora product Martin, who entertained the faithful with a series of jolting hits from the left edge.

He was well supported by Brian To'o, who ran 182 metres and produced three offloads.

It was a willing contest early, but broke open when Martin surged through a hole in the 22nd minute to set up Dylan Edwards.

A James Maloney field goal on the halftime siren gave the hosts a 9-0 lead at the break.

Tempers flared when Jack Gosiewski clipped To'o high in the 52nd minute, drawing a slap on the back of the head from Jarome Luai.

Both players were sin-binned for escalating a minor melee.

- With AAP

Veteran Panthers halfback James Maloney has turned back the clock with a vintage performance as the Panthers held off a late Manly Sea Eagles charge.

The Panthers looked headed towards an easy win when leading 15-0 before two late Sea Eagles tries made for a nervy finish before the 15-12 win at Panthers Stadium.

In the absence of Blues Origin halfback Nathan Cleary, the Panthers relied heavily on the experience of Maloney, an Origin snub this year, to lead a young side and he mentioned the importance of stringing back-to-back wins together.

“I thought it was really important for us,” Maloney told Nine’s Macca’s Golden Point.

“The boys had a really gusty win last week and it would have been a shame to see that go back into another loss.

Penrith Panthers

“A little bit disappointed that we let it get a bit close at the end there, but it’s just nice to churn out another two points and build on that.”

In Cleary’s absence, Maloney was paired with young half-back Jarome Luai, and showcased his masterful kicking game to free up the youngster, and he expanded on the importance of kicking.

“Kicking game (was) really important to free Jarome up to play eyes-up footy,” he said.

“He’s such a talented player and he’s got such great feet. If I can sort of steer him around and kick well into corners, and hopefully that goes a long way to getting the job done.”

James Maloney

Luai, who starred in both Cleary and Maloney’s absence during last year’s Origin period, was impressive once again and touched on the improved morale in the Panthers’ camp after a win.

“Yeah a lot more fun, a lot more smiles on the park with the boys and a much more enjoyable week,” he told Nine.

“The clock was going so slow (in the final 10 minutes). I was sort of glimpsing at the clock there. I knew the boys would hang tough.

“We were good last week in our defence and we defended our line well so props to the boys.”

Panther placed on report

Playing just the sixth game of his first grade career, Liam Martin was arguably the best Panther on the field, setting up the team's first try before scoring the second in an eye-catching effort.

The 22-year-old was a last-minute inclusion against the Sea Eagles after second-rower Viliame Kikau was ruled out before kick-off due to an illness, and didn't disappoint, spearheading Penrith to an unlikely 15-0 lead with 16 minutes to go before the Sea Eagles roared back.

Another rookie, five-eighth Cade Cust, put Manase Fainu over and then scored one himself in the space of six minutes to set up a grandstand finish at Panthers Stadium.

But Penrith just held on to record back-to-back victories for the first time this season, and temporarily move to 14th spot on the ladder.

Liam Martin

Manly drop to seventh after losing for the third time in four games.

Kikau's withdrawal added to a match-up that was already missing State of Origin trio Jake Trbojevic, Daly Cherry-Evans and Nathan Cleary.

Penrith pair Dean Whare, Waqa Blake and Manly duo Tom Trbojevic and Moses Suli were also missing through injury.

The lack of star power resulted in just 7,981 turning up on a bitterly cold night at - Penrith's lowest attendance in four years.

Cust scores remarkable try

However, Panthers faithful were rewarded with the competition points and a strong performance by Temora product Martin, who entertained the faithful with a series of jolting hits from the left edge.

He was well supported by Brian To'o, who ran 182 metres and produced three offloads.

It was a willing contest early, but broke open when Martin surged through a hole in the 22nd minute to set up Dylan Edwards.

A James Maloney field goal on the halftime siren gave the hosts a 9-0 lead at the break.

Tempers flared when Jack Gosiewski clipped To'o high in the 52nd minute, drawing a slap on the back of the head from Jarome Luai.

Both players were sin-binned for escalating a minor melee.

- With AAP

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