Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 02:00pm
Newcastle Knights
Penrith Panthers
Hunter Stadium
Half time Score: 10
Crowd: 13682
Half time Score: 16

Match Review

THERE'S just something about Jamie Soward and playing in Newcastle.

The Panthers five-eighth kept his perfect record in the Hunter intact as he helped steer Penrith to a comprehensive 32-10 victory over the Knights.

It was his seventh visit to Hunter Stadium and just like his previous six visits with St George Illawarra he left what was once a fortress with win number seven and another important two competition points.

Soward scored a try and kicked four goals as the Panthers continued their win-loss-win-loss-win pattern for another week after scoring six tries to two in a performance set up through almost perfect ball handling on a wet afternoon.

In jumping back into the NRL top eight the Panthers registered their biggest ever win over the Knights in Newcastle and ensured the Knights now languish in last position on four points from nine starts and with no idea where their next win is going to come from.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett said after the game it was a tough period his side was currently going through.

"We've got to stay at it, we don't have an alternative and there's enough quality in the place. It's just a case of not losing confidence in what we do and why we do it," he said.

The Knights opened the scoring through winger James McManus in the sixth minute but it would be the only time they found themselves in front on the scoreboard.

It was a performance which was punctuated by poor ball handling, missed tackles and a general lethargy in both attack and defence and the Panthers didn't need a second invitation to grind their opponent into the ground.

Tries to David Simmons, Matt Moylan and Soward ensured the Panthers headed to the break with a six-point advantage before kicking clear in the second half.

Skipper Kurt Gidley was disappointed at the defensive effort from the side after they went within a few minutes of knocking off ladder-leaders Canterbury in their last start.

"The most disappointing thing today was defensively, especially after the Bulldogs game, to have a blow out like today is a step backwards.

"But you’ve got to turn up to training and work hard, there’s no easy way out of this. It's all hard work and you’ve got to be able to transfer hard work to game day. Walking around kicking stones and with our head down won’t help us," he said.

If there was an error to be made over the course of the game Newcastle compounded it by gifting Penrith two tries courtesy of two wayward passes from Knights centre Joey Leilua who had a game he would rather forget.

Penrith winger Josh Mansour told Fox Sports after the game he wasn't sure why his side couldn't put in consistent performances but was pleased to be heading back down the freeway with an important two points.

"We stuck in the cycle, knew Newcastle would come out firing and we were lucky to get them on the edges," he said.

"We'll focus on Canberra next week and I'm sure if we can get two wins in a row it will help us get some momentum and get going this season."

The question for Wayne Bennett and his Newcastle side is where to from here?

It doesn't get any easier next week when they face Manly at Brookvale on Monday night and in a campaign that offered so much, it is quickly turning into a horror movie.

Players of the Match

3. Jamie Soward

2. Matt Moylan

1. James Segeyaro

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