Panthers pounce on pitiful Knights

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.

Match Details
Newcastle Knights 10 Penrith Panthers 32
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Crowd: 13682
Halftime Score: Newcastle Knights 10 Penrith Panthers 16 Players of the Match:
3 points - Jamie Soward
2 points - Matt Moylan
1 point - James Segeyaro

Tries: James McManus, Dane Gagai
Field Goals:
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (1/2)
Penalty Goals:

Tries: David Simmons, Jamie Soward, Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dean Whare, James Segeyaro
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jamie Soward (3/6)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1) Live Commentary

Good afternoon footy fans and welcome to a sun-drenched Hunter Stadium for today's Round 9 encounter between the Knights and Panthers. It's almost crunch time for the Knights. In team news for the home side, Holden Cup forwards Joseph Tapine and Pat Vaivai will make their debuts in place of the suspended Korbin Sims and the concussed Matt Hilder.

For the Panthers, Kevin Kingston is out which means James Segeyaro will start at hooker. Isaah Yeo comes onto the bench.

In the Holden Cup, the Knights continue to set the pace at the top with a 40-22 victory over the Panthers in a game the visitors led 12-0.

The Panthers are out on Hunter Stadium and will defend the southern end.

And the home side come out through a guard of honour from their mums. Nice touch.

And now we have a minutes silence for Ross Gigg.

We're underway!

1: Mistake free from the home side and Moylan is banged down 10m from his own line.

3: Gidley darts out of dummy half before his pass on the inside is batted back by the Panthers

3: PENALTY Panthers. Hands on the ball from the Knights.

4: Time off as Tyrone Roberts gets attention. The home crowd think Wallace lashed out with his foot deliberately, but the refs think otherwise.

5: PENALTY Knights. Panthers not leaving the ruck after Uate took the cross field bomb well.

Scored by James McManus. Kick to come.

McManus scores the first try over in the south-eastern corner after a simple sweep play out to the left. Mullen onto Leilua who put the winger over.

Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.

Gidley's conversion drifts across the face of goal. No goal.

9: Mullen puts it down after the pass from Gidley. Panthers ball on halfway.

9: PENALTY Panthers. Mullen with a dangerous looking tackle.

10: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Panthers try.

Scored by David Simmons. Kick to come.

Simmons hits straight back for the Panthers in the north eastern corner after they shifted the ball quickly to the right.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.

Soward misses to the right of the posts.

12: Wallace knocks on but the refs say knock back. Play on.

13: Mullen goes to the air and Moylan takes it well.

16: The rain starts to fall as Uate gets to his feet slowly.

16: Mullen attempts a 40/20 but the ball goes into touch just short of the 20.

18: Time off as Gidley is left on the ground after getting his head in the wrong spot trying to tackle Kite.

18: Chip kick over the top from Moylan forces Boyd to bat the ball dead. Knights dropout.

20: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Panthers try.

Scored by Matt Moylan. Kick to come.

Matt Moylan puts the Panthers back in front after chasing through Wallace's kick into the in-goal. He batted the ball back before Leilua threw the pass in the in-goal for Moylan to win the race to the ball.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward adds the extras from beside the posts.

22: Soward attempts a 40/20 but the ball finds touch just a few metres from the 20m line. Knights scrum.

23: Lightning and thunder all of a sudden in the Hunter as the Knights take the ball over halfway.

23: PENALTY Knights. Mullen tackled after putting boot to ball.

24: Clydsdale takes the line on and the ball spills free.

24: Tyrone Peachey fights through several Knights tacklers but is held up.

24: Whare pushes the pass and Moylan knocks on as more thunder reverberates around the ground.

26: Plum races through to put pressure on Mullen and comes off second best as he collided with Mullen's shoulder. He'll be taken from the field on the medicab. Great care being taken to assist him here.

26: PENALTY Knights. Plum is taken from the field on the medicab, but has been penalised for the shoulder charge on Mullen.

27: PENALTY Knights. Two men in the tackle.

27: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Knights try.

Scored by Dane Gagai. Kick to come.

Dane Gagai slides across for the Knights in the corner. Idris tried his best to hold the centre up but the ball JUST touches the line.

Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Gidley adds the extras from out wide to lock us up in the Hunter.

29: Snowden loses the ball on the first tackle after points. Coach Bennett won't be happy.

Scored by Jamie Soward. Kick to come.

Soward beats some extremely average goal line defence from the Knights to cross next to the posts.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward adds the extras to put the visitors back in front.

33: Wallace chips for Moylan but Mullen is back for the Knights.

34: PENALTY Panthers. Houston with a leg pull on the last tackle.

35: The Panthers throw the ball around on the last and give possession back to Rochow.

36: Whare with the help of a few others throws Leilua into touch. Panthers on the attack.

36: PENALTY Panthers. Uate is ruled to have tackled Whare without the ball.

37: Segeyaro's pass to Latimore is put down. Knights scrum.

39: Scrappy play from the Panthers sees Simmons kick rebound off a Knight and into touch. The home side will feed the scrum.

40: Mullen kicks across field for Uate but Mansour takes it well. 20m restart.

40: Halftime at Hunter Stadium and the Panthers hold a 16-10 lead over the Knights.

40: Penrith back out on the field, closely followed by the home side as the sun returns.

41: Second half underway.

41: Boyd takes the ball on the full and charges back at the defence.

42: Mullen kicks early for Leilua but Moylan wins the race to the ball. Leilua performs the tackle with the help of Rochow. Panthers dropout.

44: The Knights run the ball on the last and Gagai loses it. Change over.

46: Fa'alogo drops the ball. Panthers in possession.

Scored by Josh Mansour. Kick to come.

Mansour crosses out wide for the Panthers after Idris bats Soward's kick back before sliding over.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.

Soward misses to the left narrowly.

49: Soward chips over the top but Roberts is back in defence for the Knights.

Scored by Dean Whare. Kick to come.

Whare races 80m to score for the Panthers after Leilua throws a ridiculous no-look pass.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward adds the extras from in front.

52: Wallace has a little look at the Knights defence and puts it down. Knights scrum.

53: Roberts slices through the Panthers defence but loses the ball trying to put it down.

55: Soward goes to the air and McManus takes the ball well.

56: Moylan's kick trickles dead after it appeared Cuthbertson nailed Wallace to shut the play down.

59: The Knights are tackled just short of the line after they go right when they should have gone left with Roberts and Mullen yelling for the ball.

61: Mullen chips for Uate who gets a touch to the ball and it goes dead. 20m restart.

61: After viewing replays it seems Mansour has gotten a left hand to the ball to bat it dead. Panthers dropout.

62: Mullen chips to the posts and the bat back goes into the hands of the Panthers. Great defence from the visitors.

63: Segeyaro puts the ball down. It was a horrible pass.

65: The Knights run the ball on the last and Boyd's kick goes straight to Moylan.

67: Mullen attempts a 40/20 but was just outside before Moylan fumbles into touch. Knights scrum.

68: PENALTY Knights. Panthers taking half an hour to pack the scrum and rightfully penalised.

68: Leilua bundled touch in-goal by some quality defence from the visitors.

70: Peachey kicks and chases but Tapine scoops up the ball.

70: And yet another error from the Knights. This time Houston with the error.

71: Robinson this time comes up with the error for the visitors as the game degenerates into an error fest.

71: Another error from Leilua this time sees his pass retrieved by the gentleman in the third row of the grandstand. Panthers scrum.

74: Wallace goes to the air but Uate takes the ball

75: Roberts slices through but his pass on the inside is put down by Rochow with the line wide open.

75: PENALTY Panthers. Clydsdale put on report for a crusher tackle which appeared accidental, but it is up to the defender not to put a player in that position.

Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward puts the visitors out by three converted tries.

76: PENALTY Panthers. Houston drags Segeyaro down by the shirt in a high tackle.

77: Soward grubbers into the in-goal where Mullen dives on the ball. Knights dropout.

78: Moylan grubbers in behind the defence and Darius Boyd remembers he's playing for the Knights and not Queensland and knocks on. Panthers scrum.

Scored by James Segeyaro. Kick to come.

Segeyaro dives across for the Panthers out of dummy half after some paper thin Knights defence. Some of the mum's in the crowd would have done a better job at defending that.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.

Soward misses left.