Full Time
8:05pm Fri August 20, 2021
Round 23 - Suncorp Stadium - Crowd: 8848

Match Overview

Penrith absorbed the Rabbitohs first half onslaught and posted twenty-five straight points to prevail 25-12 tonight at Suncorp Stadium.

The spotlight was bright again, as the Panthers swept past the Rabbitohs in a huge performance where they posted 25 unanswered points to brush aside the challenge of the Rabbitohs and confirm they are a huge contender for this year's Premiership. 

It was a big gut check for the Panthers. They trailed by 12 points after 22 minutes then got themselves into the grind and eventually, their extra dose of class showed led by halfback Nathan Cleary which confirmed that Penrith will finish in the top two and another shot at the Grand Final. 

Since his return, the Panthers have looked much more like the side which rolled through the first half of the NRL season. Cleary scored a four-pointer himself and potted a late field-goal to make it 19-12 to secure the win for the Premiership heavyweights tonight. 

Riding high from a 10 game win streak, Souths were pumped up and were energetic in their work in the first half. It gave them the edge against a Panthers side which were wobbling and it produced a pair of tries to Dane Gagai and Latrell Mitchell - which had the famous cardinal and myrtle up 12-nil. 

Sometimes it takes a moment of magic to spark the recovery and it came from the boot from Panthers centre Paul Momirovski. He provided the kick for both Panthers tries in the first half, the first was a deft touch inside to Nathan Cleary then another late in the half for Stephen Crichton took us to the break at 12-10 Rabbitohs. 

Despite Rabbitohs leading at the break, there was only one side in the second half. Panthers took it up another level and the Rabbitohs were unable to match them. Cleary was masterful in his kicking game which left the Rabbitohs back three bamboozled and forced errors. 

Once the Panthers were on top, the points were going to flow. Cleary booted a pair of penalty goals to inch them in front at 14-12 which allowed them to dictate the rest of the contest and the halfback pinned the Rabbitohs backline right on their try-line every set. The energy which was present in the first half was sapped and the Panthers just rolled through to their 19th win of the year. 

Brent Naden has flourished on the wing for the Panthers in the last few weeks. He finished off a backline movement to make it 18-12 for three tries in two weeks for the Bulldogs-bound back. Apisau Koroisau added a late four-pointer to stretch the Panthers advantage to 13 points tonight. 

3. Nathan Cleary

2. Liam Martin

1. Latrell Mitchell