Penrith has proven that depth won’t be a major concern at the club this season, producing a solid pre-season hit-out to defeat Cronulla 34-6 at Commbank Stadium.
Missing the vast majority of their top-line squad, the Panthers showed that the taste of Premiership success has filtered down through the club’s ranks.
Penrith looked confident and slick, with Sean O’Sullivan proving in the first half that he’ll be a more than capable back-up for Nathan Cleary when he’s on Origin duty this season, or perhaps early in the year if the Clive Churchill Medal winner hasn’t fully recovered from off-season shoulder surgery.
One of the headline stories to come out of the trial will be the emergence of the new MG – Mavrik Geyer.
He wasn’t alive when his father Mark helped Penrith to Premiership glory in 1991 but he certainly didn’t look out of place when he entered the field from the bench late in the first half.
He scored a great try of a nice O’Sullivan pass with his first touch of the ball, and then had involvement in two further tries.
As you’d expect from summer football, the performance wasn’t always first rate but coach Ivan Cleary would surely take plenty of confidence out of the performance.
The win was the most comfortable of any NRL side in the trials this weekend.
Penrith will field a stronger side against Parramatta next week.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.