Penrith have finished the 2019 season on a high with a 54-10 demolition of a woeful Newcastle at Panthers Stadium.
Nathan Cleary scored four tries in a 34-point haul that broke Michael Gordon’s single game point scoring record (30) set in 2010.
The performance left Panthers fans wondering what could have been, with a spectacular finish to a season that promised plenty but in the end, delivered a 10th place finish.
The game was an arm-wrestle for the opening quarter and Newcastle even opened the scoring, but Penrith converted an 18-4 half-time lead into a second half shellacking, farewelling James Maloney in style.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said he was pleased for Penrith fans to see the season end on a high.
“It’s a nice way to finish the season,” he said.
“If we could have found that in the last few weeks we would have done better.”
Cleary said he felt the side ran out of steam in the last few weeks after a stirring mid-season revival.
“The wash up is that we’re not happy with the outcome and I take full responsibility for that,” he said.
“I’m very confident about the plan going forward and what we need to do.”
Cleary also confirmed – as had been reported and rumoured previously – that Trent Barrett would join the Panthers’ coaching staff next year.
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.