Panthers brush aside Roosters 28-6 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers brush aside Roosters 28-6

By Steve Jancetic 11/04/2010 07:22:24 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matthew Elliott labelled fullback Lachlan Coote a "freak" after young Panther stole the show in his side's 28-6 win over the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.

Coote, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Tuesday, produced one piece of absolute magic and 80 minutes of sustained excellence as the Panthers built on their lucky win over Newcastle last week to secure their third victory of 2010.

With all waiting to see if Roosters No.1 Todd Carney would continue his irresistible push for a NSW Origin jumper, Coote staged a personal coming out party - the highlight being a spectacular move to set up Adrian Purtell's 38th minute try.

Chasing a Luke Walsh bomb, Coote leapt over three Roosters before miraculously flicking the ball out the back to an unmarked Purtell and the Panthers jumped to a 16-0 lead that scarcely reflected their first half dominance.

"I've been telling everyone who wants to listen he's a freak - you just saw some of the stuff that he can do," Elliott said of his young charge.

"Unfortunately you guys don't see him at training when we play skills games - some of the stuff he does there is just ridiculous. That was part of the ridiculous repertoire that you saw just before halftime.

"I'm not sure how you compete for a ball with it is going over your head in the same direction and leap over people.

"He's got more to offer than you've seen ... his full game's not quite there but we're pretty content with what he's doing at the moment."

Coote, who missed large portions of the past two seasons with serious knee and shoulder injuries, said he was gaining in the confidence brought about by an injury-free run and an extra nine and a half kilos on his small frame.

"I'm feeling really good, I've put on a little bit of weight and I'm not getting rag-dolled as I did last year," the fullback said.

"It was probably the most satisfying (performance) so far - obviously I haven't played much football the last couple of years."

Coote's sublime performance was complemented by a stellar game from halfback Luke Walsh, who set up three of the Panthers' five tries with kicks including a grubber for Coote to pounce on just after halftime that all but sealed the result.

A Mitchell Aubusson four-pointer on the hour was the only ray of hope for the Roosters, with Luke Lewis putting them out of their misery when he set up a Michael Gordon try seven minutes from fulltime.

The Roosters' performance was eerily similar to their lacklustre effort in the heat against Canterbury a fortnight ago and they slumped to their second loss of the season.

"The opposition put a lot of physical pressure on us today, a mountain of possession and eventually it took its toll on us ... we weren't quite good enough," coach Brian Smith said.

"Walshy played in a dinner suit today and did it perfectly - he ordered the win at the right time and made sure the dessert fronted up as well - he did the works."

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