Penrith look more like wooden spooners than Finals contenders – falling 30-4 to the Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium as the club falls into crisis.
The Panthers were never in the contest, conceding four tries in the opening 11 minutes in what was an embarrassing performance that has – temporarily at least – shifted Penrith to last place on the NRL ladder.
Coach Ivan Cleary’s decision to dump Waqa Blake for turning up late to training proved costly, with replacement centre Tyrell Fuimaono constantly exposed as the Tigers made a mockery of Penrith’s edge defence.
The Panthers were blown away in the first 20 minutes of the match with the Tigers scoring five first half tries, with a lone four-pointer to Dean Whare Penrith’s only response.
Penrith were better in the second half but the damage had been done.
As has been the case all season, even when Penrith did have chances close to the Tigers’ line, they couldn’t convert them.
The loss leaves the Panthers with just two wins from their opening nine matches.
Coach Ivan Cleary said there was “more questions than answers” and he couldn’t explain what had gone wrong.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.