The Penrith Panthers continued their charge up to the top of the NRL ladder with a convincing 26 points to 10 victory over the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval this afternoon.
Penrith cruised in the 1st half with tries to Matt Moylan and Dean Whare who got over the line untouched after great set moves. The Tigers shot themselves in the foot several times while attacking with several missed opportunities and errors at inopportune times.
In the second half Kevin Naiqama found the line after another set play from Penrith, but was met with a swift reply from Tigers' interchange player Blake Austin who broke the Panthers line rather easily - the score sitting at 16-6 with 25 minutes left to play.
Jamal Idris made it 20-6 as he was allowed too much space to dummy to Josh Mansour and then dive over out wide under little pressure. This was backed up when Dean Whare then grabbed a second, off another Moylan assist as he sliced through a gap in the Tigers defence to score untouched. This extended the Panthers' lead out to 20 points.
Late on, the Tigers earned a simple consolation try when Luke Brooks finished off a good move for the Tigers, scoring after the football went through many hands and he crashed over under some soft Panthers defence late on.
Braith Anasta and David Nofoaluma were amongst the concerns for the home side - Anasta with torn biceps and Nofoaluma on report for a lifting tackle on Jamal Idris. Bodene Thompson may also have a case to answer for a first-half late hit on Jamie Soward. For Penrith they'll be sweating on the fitness of Peter Wallace who suffered an ankle syndesmosis injury (high ankle sprain) early in the match.
Next week the first-placed Penrith will host Brisbane in Monday night football at the foot of the mountains, while the Wests Tigers continue a horror run, facing the team in second on the ladder in Manly. The week following they host the third-placed Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.