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Penrith have turned on a scintillating first half in the 2017 Intrust Super Championship to thump the PNG Hunters 42-18 at ANZ Stadium today.
Four tries to centre Tony Satini were more than enough for the Panthers to claim the state vs state title, the NSW Cup premiers taking a 38-2 leading into the sheds, having dominated a bumbling Hunters in the first forty.
Continual targeting of the PNG's right side defence proved the undoing of the Queensland Cup premiers on the big day - despite pipping the Falcons last week in a gritty Grand Final, they provided little resistance this week to a rampant Penrith.
The Hunters had the first go at attacking footy but given the chance at a penalty goal in the third minute they took it, and Ase Boas made it 2-0 early.
It was the only time in the match the 'away side' led the contest, with Tony Satini quickly grabbing back-to-back tries either side of the ten minute mark to have his side ahead 10-2. By the 16th minute he'd grabbed his hat trick and the flood gates were open early.
Captain Darren Nicholls was next to line up for points, crossing under the posts. The clock became a bigger competitor than the Hunters by this point, and after a near-10 minute layoff, Viliame Kikau was the next scorer, then Satini grabbed number four. The result was a 38-2 halftime lead with Nicholls having converted five of the seven tries scored.
To their credit, the Hunters came out a much more resolute team in the second stanza, restricting Penrith to just one try after the resumption. The scoreline remained 42-4 with Maika Sivo the only Panthers scorer, a lead the eventual winners held til the 69th minute.
Then the game turned on its head a little.
Jarome Luai was sin-binned for a professional foul and from there, PNG took advantage of the man overlap on three occasions, with Adex Wera, Ase Boas and Bland Abavu all grabbing four-pointers before time expired.
It was all too late though - the result beyond any doubt from around the 20 minute mark of the first half and the Penrith Panthers claimed the beetle-esque trophy, crowned 2017 Intrust Super Champs.
Penrith Panthers 42 - PNG Hunters 18
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: Penrith Panthers 38 PNG Hunters 2
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Darren Nicholls
2 points - Tony Satini
1 points - Viliame Kikau
PENRITH PANTHERS (42)
Tries: Tony Satini (4), Darren Nicholls, Viliame Kikau, Christian Crichton, Maika Sivo
Conversions: Darren Nicholls (5/8)
PNG HUNTERS (18)
Tries: Ase Boas, Adex Wera, Bland Abavu
Conversions: Ase Boas (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Ase Boas (1/1)