Monday, October 02, 2017

Penrith rout PNG for NRL interstate title

Penrith have flogged Papua New Guinea 42-18 to take out the NRL Interstate Championship at ANZ Stadium.
Penrith have spoiled Papua New Guinea's Cinderella story with a 42-18 rout in the NRL Interstate Championship at ANZ Stadium.

The NSW Cup premiers ran riot with the game effectively over at 38-2 at halftime after Tony Satini ran in four tries in the first 40 minutes.

The victory was yet another feather in the cap for coach Garth Brennan who was amassed two NSW Cup titles and an under-20s premiership during his time at the foot of the mountains.

Along with the likes of Laurie Daley, Chris and Shane Walker and Jason Demetriou, Brennan is one of the contenders for the vacant Gold Coast NRL job.

He sent a loud and resounding message about his coaching nous by leading his side to an eight tries to three flogging on the NRL's grand final day but was coy on his future.

"It'd be nice. But I don't focus on it, I don't dwell on it, it's something I can't control," Brennan said.

"What I can control is preparing my team as best I can to get the result and if I do that the rest looks after itself.

"I've got an ongoing contract with Gus (Panthers general manager Phil Gould), it just rolls over. Keeping him happy is very good."

The Hunters came into the match as the feel good story after winning their first piece of silverware in last week's Queensland Cup grand final against the Sunshine Coast.

However the side from the rugby league-mad island nation was outclassed and overpowered.

Coach Michael Marum admitted his squad, who had never been to Sydney let alone played on ANZ Stadium, was overawed by the occasion.

The Hunters struck first with a penalty goal through captain Ase Boas however former Manly outside back Satini ran in three tries in seven minutes to put his side on top.

Halfback Darren Nicholls was also outstanding, stretching the Hunters defence and crossing under the posts to make it 22-2 after 21 minutes.

After Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai was sin-binned for a professional foul in the 67th minute, the Hunters ran in consolation tries through Adex Wera, Bland Abavu and Boas.

"Maybe they were overawed in the first half. We let in seven tries," Marum said.

"But we won the second half. We got back in it but full credit to the Panthers, they're a quality side with a lot of NRL experience in it."

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