Cleary gets first win

Ivan Cleary in his early days at the Panthers. Photo: Melinda Jane
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Michael Jennings scored two tries and Penrith kept an opposition team scoreless for the first time in a decade on a hot afternoon at Allianz Stadium.


The double from Jennings brought his 2012 tally to three – one more than he scored during the entire 2011 season.


It helped the Panthers to an 18-0 win over a tired looking Roosters, who struggled to deal with the heat of the day and made constant errors in the second half.


Penrith weren't perfect themselves but they had the Roosters' measure from very early in the contest, and were never seriously challenged by the Roosters.


It was the first win for coach Ivan Cleary, who would be pleased with the effort given Penrith was without Michael Gordon, David Simmons and late withdrawals Tim Grant and Blake Austin.


Panthers fans got to see what they'd been calling for – Jennings in form, Luke Walsh running the line and Kevin Kingston splitting the opposition from dummy half.


The Panthers led 12-0 at half-time, with big Sam McKendry leaving four Roosters defenders in his wake to crash over for the first try. Jennings scored the second, showing some fancy footwork before reaching over to score.


Jennings scored the try that sealed the match 23 minutes from time, pouncing on a Roosters error to run away and score.


It was probably Walsh's best performance in Panther colours – he ran the line, looked the more composed of the two halfbacks and played a composed, strong match.


The Panthers return home to take on Souths next weekend.

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