Match highlights: Round 10
The nib Newcastle Knights were defeated 29-18 by the Penrith Panthers in Indigenous Round at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday evening.
Another slow start from the Knights, with two early tries to the visitors to see a 12-point lead at half time, saw the Panthers stage a comfortable 11-point buffer on the final siren.
After a repeat set for the Panthers, a simple second man play allowed Reagan Campbell-Gillard to sneak through a wide-open gap on the line to crash over for the first points of the evening.
James Maloney added the extras to put the visitors in-front, 6-0.
Penrith had the Knights scrambling as they managed additional repeat sets off impressive offensive pressure and soon broke through as Tyrone Peachey charged through the centre for Penrith's second try. Maloney converted as the Panthers took a 12-0 lead after 18 minutes.
Off the back of a forward pass and a penalty, the Knights got a run on to see the ball sail through the hands of Kalyn Ponga before a clever off-load by Mitch Barnett to finally find Connor Watson who barged his way over. Brock Lamb nailed the conversion as the Knights trailed by six points.
In the 29th minute a brilliant run from Lachlan Fitzgibbon saw the number 11 sprint into space before Daniel Saifiti muscled his way over, but it was deemed a no try after Watson was found to have obstructed play and the Panthers gained back possession.
Soon after the Knights charged for the line after another exceptional run from Fitzgibbon, but Watson misjudged the pass and the Panthers pounced for Peachey to scoop it up and sprint past a number of defenders before finally he dished off to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak who finished with the try.
With just over five minutes before half time it was Panthers 18-6 in the lead after another Maloney conversion and that score line continued to the break.
In the second half, a couple of penalties from the Panthers got the Knights closer to the line and Lamb nearly pulled off a short grubber but the visitors tipped it to safety.
Soon after, Lamb with a stunning run off the left foot accelerated into open space before he offloaded to a speedy Ponga, who dodged his way to the line for the Knights' second try. Sio took the kick this time and it was 18-12 to Penrith in the 54th minute.
Minutes later Maloney decided it was better to opt for the field goal than the try, and it pushed their lead to seven points.
In the 65th minutes the Panthers won a penalty five metres out and Maloney lined up for the kick straight in-front of the posts and booted it through the middle to extend their lead, 21-12.
Five minutes later and Maloney continued his precision kicking with a high ball chip to Penrith's Corey Harawira-Naera who strolled over for the try. Maloney added the two points to put the Panthers in a commanding 27-12 lead.
A quick penalty in-front gave the Panthers another two points via Maloney before the Knights quickly got it down the other end and a behind the back pass from Barnett kept it in play to see Nathan Ross dive over for the Knights third.
Lamb was again on kicking duty as he easily booted it from out in front, but it was the Panthers still in the lead, 29-18 with two minutes to play.
As the final siren rang, it was a Panthers victory, which saw the visitors defeat the Knights 29-18.
Knights 18 (T: Watson, Lamb, Ross G: Lamb 2/2, Sio 1/1)
Panthers 29 (T: Campbell-Gillard, Peachy, Watene-Zelezniak, Harawira-Naera G: Maloney 4/4, FG: Maloney 1/1, PG: Maloney 2/2)