Wesser comes back to haunt Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wesser comes back to haunt Panthers

30/05/2010 06:21:55 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney fullback Rhys Wesser has returned to haunt the club he won an NRL premiership with, starring with a two-try performance in a 42-22 victory over Penrith.

Wesser, who is gradually returning to his best after a serious knee injury ruined most of his 2009 season, joined with Rabbitohs coach John Lang in downing the club they both won a grand final with in 2003.

The former Queensland State of Origin star scored either side of halftime on Sunday to underline Souths' finals credentials and give Lang a first-up win coaching against the Panthers.

The Rabbitohs led 30-6 after 42 minutes but had to withstand a three-try comeback from Penrith before halfback Chris Sandow scored a classy individual try to seal a seven-tries-to-four victory in front of a disappointing 11,108 fans.

"It's the first time I've played against them," Wesser said.

"I spent a lot of time there, 12 years, and a lot of emotions carried into this game.

"To get out there and get a good win and score a couple of tries, I'm pretty pleased with the effort."

"That's probably my best performance so far (since coming back)."

The 31-year-old is off-contract at season's end and said his future remained up in the air.

"I'm still playing for my contract, week in week out," he said.

"I'm just seeing how things go. I haven't locked myself into anything."

Lang was full of praise for his partner in crime.

"I think he's probably fined down a little bit and he's starting to really run free," he said.

"He's been rock solid in the basics of the game.

"His attacking game hadn't really been coming together but (he took) another step ahead today."

Stuck in the traffic created by a motorway pile-up on the way to the game, Penrith struggled to get out of first gear and gave plenty of ammunition to those who have suggested they will struggle without inspirational skipper Petero Civoniceva.

Four Panthers stars, including Michael Jennings and Luke Walsh, arrived at the ground just 20 minutes before kick-off after they needed to be picked up by a team official on the M4 in a trip to the ground that took nearly two hours.

"... That's why we lost, that's what I'm putting it down to, the minister of main roads," Penrith coach Matt Elliott joked.

"They were pretty chilled out when they got here, we were pretty relaxed.

"That had no impact upon our preparation."

Panthers fullback Lachlan Coote virtually fought a lone battle for the visitors, creating a first half try for Brad Tighe and scoring two in the second to get his side to 30-22.

"Each week's a new experience, you come up against different things," Lang said.

"We had that big lead today and they came back at us.

"If we had of lost our heads they would have been all over us.

"I thought we steadied and a little bit of individual brilliance from Chrissy kicked us clear."

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