It was a hard day at the office for the nib Newcastle Knights as they succumbed to a 40-0 loss to the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium on Friday evening.
The Panthers started the show with a flick pass to a leaping Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the right side to cross over for the first points of the match.
Minutes later it was almost number two from the winger but with a foot over the line, Watene-Zelezniak was disallowed the try.
A 60-metre run from Ken Sio showed some spirit from Newcastle but it didn’t deter the home side as Corey Harawira-Naera broke through the Knights defence to cross the line on debut. Nathan Cleary converted to lead the Knights 10-0.
UK import Joe Wardle made his NRL debut, coming on in the 21st minute before a third from Penrith, via Te Taire Martin to lead 16-0.
Jacob Saifiti was welcomed to the game with a heavy hit and was assisted off the field before Penrith’s Harawira-Naera offloaded to Tyrone Peachey for the home side's fourth try.
Cleary booted the conversion to lead the Knights 22-0 at halftime.
The Panthers’ Cleary opened the scoring account in the second half with a penalty goal out front.
Almost for the Knights, Sam Stone threw the ball to Ken Sio in the right corner, but it was deemed a forward pass while down the other end, Panthers hooker Peter Wallace and winger Dean Whare found space to crash over.
There was no-one to back up Nathan Ross as he made a 60-metre sprint down the field and within five minutes, Cleary struck again for the Panthers to make the final score 40-0.
Newcastle Knights 0
Penrith Panthers 40 (T: Watene-Zelezniak, Harawira-Naera, Martin, Peachy, Wallace, Whare, Cleary, G: Cleary 5/7, PG: Cleary 1)