The Penrith Panthers have continued their winning ways in the 2022 NRL season, treating their game against the Knights in Newcastle like an opposed training session as they ran out 42 points to 6 winners.
It was clear that the Panthers weren't going to much around as they scored on their first opportunity in attack, with Luai getting away from Gagai in the 5th minute before passing inside to his halves partner Nathan Cleary, who scored the opening try.
After going set for set for the next 10 minutes or so, the Panthers got a penalty and once again took full advantage, when a right side raid was turned away they swung it left to find Kikau in space, who beat at least 3 Knights on his way to the line.
The Knights then had a few attacking sets but could do nothing with them, and after finally taking back possession, Nathan Cleary kicked a 40/20 to put his team back on the attack. They unsurprisingly scored another try, with Izack Tago offloading in a two man tackle to Taylan May, who went over untouched.
The Panthers gave away a penalty soon after and the Knights were able to force a dropout, but on the ensuing set a Kurt Mann pass went to ground and was picked up by Penrith, which resulted in Tago getting tackled 20 metres out from the Knights line. On the next play, they swung it right to where the numbers were and found Brian To'o, who scored his first of the afternoon.
The Panthers would get a penalty in the dying stages of the first half, making the scoreline at the break a disheartening 26-0 against the Knights.
It would take a full 10 minutes before Penrith continued the onslaught in the second 40, with Kurt Mann (filling in at fullback for Ponga who failed an HIA) making a meal of a Kikau grubber, allowing Tago to dive on the loose ball and add to the score.
15 minutes later, the Panthers would go in again after Stephen Crichton put a dirty right foot step on Tuala, easily beating his opposing man before running right past Kurt Mann in the last line of defence. The next time the Knights had the ball, they dropped it, and To'o got his second try during the ensuing set.
The Knights went over two minutes later but it was reviewed and eventually overruled due to an obstruction, with the Panthers getting a penalty. Kikau opted to put in a kick towards the end of the set, which was scooped up by the Knights, and eventually Gagai was tackled up near halfway. The home side then spread it left to an unmarked Edrick Lee, who sprinted away to score a consolation try, which was the last time the scoreboard attendants were troubled in this one.
Next week, the Knights travel to Canberra to take on the Raiders on Sunday Afternoon, while the Panthers are on the road again against the Warriors on Saturday evening.