Penrith Panthers

Panthers roll on towards minor premiership with defeat of Roosters

Despite a gutsy performance without star playmaker Luke Keary and forward leader Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, the Roosters have now crashed to four consecutive losses for the first time since 2016 and are in 10th place.

Given a ladder position that belies the quality of the Roosters line-up and the way they have been playing without key players, it could be argued that Trent Robinson's men are the best bottom eight team in recent memory.

Panthers v Roosters: Origin stars back up; Radley in, Keary out

No fewer than 10 members of the Blues' victorious 17-man squad could be on show at BlueBet Stadium depending on how they pull up and whether coaches Cleary and Robinson choose to rest any of their stars.

Panthers general Nathan Cleary was at his majestic best in Origin Two but the premiers have an able deputy in Sean O'Sullivan should the gun No.7 be given a break.

No fairytale farewell for Warriors as Panthers run riot

The match was the last for the Warriors before finally returning to New Zealand for an emotional homecoming match against Wests Tigers in two weeks after being forced to stay in Australia since the start of the 2020 premiership due to COVID-19.

In just their second match since Stacey Jones took over the coaching reins from Nathan Brown, the Warriors showed some resolve and improvement on last weekend's 38-16 loss to the Sharks but they were no match for Penrith.

Warriors v Panthers: Fonua-Blake returns; Yeo back from break

The Panthers could not have been more impressive in their demolition of Newcastle while the Warriors started well enough against Cronulla but fell away badly in Jones' first game at the helm.

Ivan Cleary's men have lost just one game all season and have positioned themselves perfectly to emulate the Roosters in 2018-19 and collect back-to-back premierships.

If the Warriors are to throw a spanner in the works they will need to get their discipline in check and cut out the simple errors that cost them any chance of victory against the Sharks.

Panthers roll on to down Dogs without Origin stars

Sean O'Sullivan, Kurt Falls and Matt Eisenhuth took on the roles of halfback Nathan Cleary, five-eighth Jarome Luai and lock Isaah Yeo and played starring roles in the 30-18 win.

Strike forward Viliame Kikau, who will join the Bulldogs next season, fullback Dylan Edwards, prop James Fisher-Harris and hooker Api Koroisau led the way for the Panthers, whose left side attack was as potent as ever.

Panthers v Bulldogs: Falls to debut; Pangai jnr, Thompson out

A number of Penrith players were rested from NSW Cup duties on Sunday so they'd be fresh for duty if called up to face the Bulldogs, including playmaker Sean O'Sullivan who performed admirably in the first three rounds of the season while Nathan Cleary recovered from shoulder surgery.

The Bulldogs showed plenty of good signs on an emotional day at their spiritual home Belmore but still came up short to remain at the bottom of the table.

Panthers shut out brave Cowboys

However, the Cowboys confirmed they are genuine contenders with a gutsy defensive effort in which they made 425 tackles compared to just 318 by the premiers..

Lock Reuben Cotter made 63 tackles on his own, while rookie sensation Jeremiah Nanai and hooker Reece Robson made 51 each.

All but two members of Penrith's starting line-up carried the ball for more than 100 metres, headed by prop James Fisher-Harris (220m) and fullback Dylan Edwards (240m).

Panthers v Cowboys: Premiers rolling along; Feldt, JT sidelined

The Panthers have dropped just one game all season and have back-to-back premierships firmly in their sights while the Cowboys have risen from the ashes of 2021 to give themselves a legitimate shot at the club's second title.

Todd Payten's men boast the third best attack in the NRL behind the Storm and Panthers but it's their steel in defence that is most pleasing the coach, conceding just 12 points per game compared to 31 per game in 2021.

Panthers too strong for Roosters as Luai doubles up

The premiers have lost just one game all season and have given themselves some breathing space as they head towards the Origin period when their depth will be tested.

The Roosters had the first chance to post points in the seventh minute but Joseph Suaalii was denied by superb cover defence from Taylan May and Dylan Edwards.

Penrith got across the line in the 25th minute but Izack Tago was held up by James Tedesco as both defences stood tall.

Roosters v Panthers: Butcher in for Radley; Premiers unchanged

They look to be settling into a groove though with two wins on the bounce and the form of Joseph Suaalii and Sam Walker in Magic Round will give them plenty of confidence as they prepare to tackle the premiers.

Penrith could not have been any more impressive in dismantling the Storm and they now sit alone at the top of the table as they close in on the testing State of Origin period when a number of their stars will be called up.