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Penrith Panthers on top of NRL ladder after beating Gold Coast Titans

Gold Coast 14 Penrith 36

Panthers forward Adam Docker is crunched by the Titans defence.

Panthers forward Adam Docker is crunched by the Titans defence. Photo: Getty Images

After shedding 25 players in two years, Penrith lead the NRL halfway through the 2014 season – but insist their attack is still not up to scratch.

The Panthers edged ahead of Canterbury at the head of the table with a 36-14 pasting of Gold Coast at CBUS Super Stadium, scoring three tries in the final 15 minutes.

It is a remarkable achievement for coach Ivan Cleary and football manager Phil Gould, who have completely remodelled the club since 2012.

Gold Coast forward Dave Taylor takes on the Penrith defence.

Gold Coast forward Dave Taylor takes on the Penrith defence. Photo: Getty Images

Time
80.00
Team
GCT
Score
14
Team
PEN
Score
36
Gold Coast versus Penrith
View Match Statistics
Players Douglas, Mead Tries 2 Tries 6 Players Segeyaro, Brown, Yeo, Peachey, Soward, Moylan
Players Gordon 2/2 (100%) Conversions 2 Conversions 5 Players Soward 5/6 (83%)
Players Gordon 1/1 (100%) Penalty goals 1 Penalty goals 1 Players Soward 1/1 (100%)
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

"You can see the players who left the club and you can also see the quality players we brought into the club with Gus and Ivan planning for the future," said hooker James Segeyaro, who scored a remarkable solo try in the sixth minute that had him beat four defenders after darting out of dummy half on the 40-metre line.

Coach Cleary predictably played down the attitude of the Mountain Men, saying: "Obviously, it's good.

"No one hands out bouquets halfway. We understand we've still got a long way to go. We have to get better next week.

"We looked more likely to score when we were defending than when we were attacking. We might have lost that game earlier in the season.

"I think we need to improve a fair bit and show a bit more over the next half of the season."

When asked if he could outline the areas in which his side needed to improve, Cleary said: "No, not really. It's not that exciting."

But five-eighth Jamie Soward said the Panthers' attack was still not good enough.

"Outside people will be looking at the ladder and be surprised," he said.

"Our attack wasn't great, our finishing off of sets wasn't great."

Gold Coast, competition leaders themselves at the start of the year, suffered from contentious decisions to disallow Willliam Zillman (27 minutes) and David Mead (35) tries but conceded three tries to misfired kicks and fumbles.

Captain Greg Bird said the Titans had been overtaken by the other sides in the NRL – both on the table and on the field.

"At the start of the year we took it for granted we were going to be one of the teams at the end because we were winning a few games,'' Bird said.

"We haven't improved and everyone else has gone past us."

Panthers winger David Simmons suffered a worrying knee injury while second-rower Sika Manu could only see out of one eye, according to Cleary, after copping an accidental finger from Luke Douglas.

Gold Coast led 8-6 for a chunk of the first half, with Segeyaro sparking a spectacular try 11 minutes from the break, which second-rower Lewis Brown scored after involvement from Soward and Tyrone Peachey. The visitors led 14-8 at the break.

Second-rower Peachey, who posted a breakaway try in the 65th minute, made 225 metres. Segeyaro had been in doubt beforehand with an ankle injury but finished with 45 tackles.

1 comment so far

  • Go the Panthers!

    It looks like Ivan Cleary and Phil Gould know what they are doing. When Gordon, Jennings, Coote and Lewis left the club I was a bit concerned - but the new players have more than filled the hole and they're playing as a team with great generalship from Wallace and Soward.

    I am predicting an all Westy Grand Final for the first time in history. Penrith v Parramatta in September with the Panthers doing the victory lap.

    History is repeating itself. In 01 the Panthers were wooden spooners, in 02 outside the 8; in 03 Premiers.

    Commenter
    Jack Richards
    Location
    Snowy Mountains
    Date and time
    June 08, 2014, 10:14AM

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