The Sydney Roosters have comprehensively outplayed the Panthers, winning 44-12 at Aussie Stadium tonight.
The first half display by the Roosters was simply outstanding as they repeatedly scored long range tries while Penrith made silly handling errors and were unable to contain the Roosters out wide.
Panthers supporters were stunned by a half time score of 38-nil in favour of the Roosters.
The Roosters scored straight away early in the second half but the Panthers improved and were able to string several phases together and stopped the Roosters breaking the line.
Penrith bombed several opportunities in good possession but finally got some sort of consolation with Amos Roberts scoring two tries late in the match.
The Roosters continue to press for the minor premiership but the Panthers now have to work hard for a home final.
Aussie Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead
ROOSTERS 44 Tries: Crocker 2, Walker, Minichiello, Cross, Fittler, Finch, Flannery Goals: Fitzgibbon 6/8 PANTHERS 12 Tries: Roberts 2 Goals: Roberts 2/2
By the clock: The second grand final rematch between the Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters will start off this blockbuster weekend in the NRL in what should be an exciting encounter. Justin Hodges, Michael Crocker and Shannon Hegarty come into the Roosters side and the Panthers are as programmed.
0 min: Panthers kick off
6 min: Try ? Walker (Roosters). Brett Finch dummies and fools the Panthers defenders before offloading it to Chris Walker to score. Craig Fitzgibbon can?t convert. 4-0 Roosters
9 min: News ? Ryan Cross knocks it on out of dummy half; Before he could regather it Preston Campbell puts a boot to the ball but knocks it on attempting to place the ball over the try line.
16 min: Try ? Minichiello (Roosters). Anthony Minichiello rips through the Panthers line; he fooled Wesser before putting the ball down for a superb individual try. Craig Fitzgibbon converts. 10-0 Roosters
21 min: Try ? Crocker (Roosters). Much like the Minichiello try it started with a break this time it was from Justin Hodges on the short side, he passes it to his inside man Chris Walker who in turn flicks it back to Michael Crocker to score. Fitzgibbon converts. 16-0 Roosters
29 min: Try ? Cross (Roosters). The Roosters spread it wide from a scrum just outside of there half, Chris Walker pops up a ball to Ryan Cross who motors it home to score another Roosters try. Fitzgibbon conversion attempt goes wide. 20-0 Roosters.
30 min: News ? The Roosters are dominating this match with an iron fist, they?ve especially been excellent spreading the ball out wide and have found plenty of holes in the Panthers defence.
31 min: Try ? Fittler (Roosters). From the restart Anthony Tupou offloads it to Brad Fittler putting him into space and he sprints over 75 metres to score an excellent try. Fitzgibbon converts. 26-0 Roosters
34 min: Try ? Crocker (Roosters). Roosters put up a high kick straight to Rhys Wesser, it bounces right in front of him and before he can regather it Michael Crocker gets his hand on the ball to score his second try. Fitzgibbon converts. 32-0 Roosters
38 min: Try ? Finch (Roosters). On the end of a Craig Wing bust, Adrian Morley receives the ball 10 metres out from the line he throws an inside ball to Brett Finch to put him over the line. Fitzgibbon converts. 38-0 Roosters
Half Time What can one say about this first half? The Roosters have only been tackled inside their own 20 metres twice giving a true indication of how their tries have been scored. This has been nothing short of a slaughtering and Penrith sure are paying the price.
Sydney Roosters are leading at the break by 38 - 0.
40 min: Roosters kick off
44 min: Try ? Flannery (Roosters). Brad Fittler is given all the in the world to put a kick into the in goal, the bounce sits up perfectly for Chris Flannery. Fitzgibbon converts. 44-0 Roosters
44 min: News ? Adrian Morley is ruled out for the rest of the match with a knee injury.
58 min: News ? The Panthers are doing slightly better this half but are still unable to finish their attack opportunities off and are still sliding off tackles letting the bigger and faster Roosters players make plenty of busts.
64 min: Try ? Roberts (Panthers). The Panthers pass it out wide to Amos Roberts wing, he looks certain to score in the corner but centre Ryan Cross covers up well and tackles him over the sideline; Roberts was ruled by the video referee to have scored before going out. Amos Roberts converts his own try. 44-6 Roosters
69 min: Try ? Roberts (Panthers). Cross field bomb by Craig Gower goes to Shannon Hegarty but he knocks it on into Amos Roberts hands for his second try. Roberts converts. 44-12 Roosters
76 min: News ? The passes just aren?t sticking for the Panthers having spent the majority of the second half with the ball in hand inside the Roosters half.
Full Time A disappointing second half by the Roosters but the Panthers never capitalised with the ball they had. An excellent first half the Roosters well and truly set them up for the convincing and impressive victory.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Finch (Roosters) 2 - A Minichiello (Roosters) 1 - A Tupou (Roosters) -----------------------------------------Like