Death and taxes aren’t the only certainties in life after the Panthers chalked up their 22nd straight regular season win to extend the hottest streak in rugby league, although they were pushed all the way by a plucky Knights side that wouldn’t go away.
To put it into context, the Undertaker only managed 21 wins in a row at WrestleMania before his streak was eventually ended by Brock Lesnar.
The scary thing? This team is only getting better as they look to avenge last year’s grand final heartbreak.
Fullback Dylan Edwards made a stunning return from the hand injury that saw him miss three games, launching countless counter-attacks every time the Knights kicked his way, before he sealed the win with a try straight from the Sharks 2016 Grand Final playbook.
In further good news, hooker Api Koroisau should be back for the first time since Round 1 when Penrith travel to Bathurst next week, with a stomach bug the only thing stopping him from making his return against the Knights.
FULL-TIME. A second half surge sees the Panthers grab the win at BlueBet Stadium 👊🏽#NRLPanthersKnights#pantherpridepic.twitter.com/tV01zsmbJX
Knight and day
They were called out for their lacklustre effort against the Titans two weeks ago, but Newcastle fans will be proud of their team for pushing the premiership favourites all the way.
After snatching a dramatic win at the death last week, the Knights backed it up with an equally gritty performance on the road against a team that has rarely been challenged this year.
Kalyn Ponga was as classy as ever, but five-eighth Kurt Mann was the star and the main reason why the Knights were within four points with 20 minutes to go.
It was his run from deep within his own half that set up Newcastle’s only try which featured a brutal Starford To’a fend on Edwards, while he somehow popped up in the second half to bat down a pass that would have seen Matt Burton stroll over.
Matt Burton crosses for Penrith’s second.Source:Getty Images
Is it too early to lock Matt Burton in as the 2022 buy of the year?
Bulldogs fans have had nothing to cheer about this season but they must be salivating over what’s to come when the Penrith young gun eventually dons the blue and white jersey.
Burton will walk into Belmore as the club’s best playmaker, and you could mount a case for him being Canterbury’s best centre after he showed off all the skills on Thursday night.
The Dubbo local scored his fourth try in as many games at left centre when he hit a hole that Steve Menzies would have been proud of, he then belted Tyson Frizell to jolt the ball free, while his left boot kept the Knights guessing all night.
He’s a rare talent who can save the Bulldogs, but for now, he’s Penrith’s prized property who will get the job done wherever his coach wants him to play.
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