Red-hot Panthers thrash Rabbitohs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Red-hot Panthers thrash Rabbitohs

By Steve Jancetic 20/08/2010 10:54:42 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney's NRL finals hopes disintegrated under the weight of the Penrith steamroller 54-18 at CUA Stadium on Friday night.

Fullback Michael Gordon scored a Panthers club record 30 points courtesy of a hattrick of tries and nine goals.

The NSW Origin representative also broke the single season points record for Penrith, both old marks set by Ryan Girdler.

The damage was done in the first half when the Panthers ran seven unanswered tries past a hapless Bunnies outfit who had travelled to the foot of the mountains with their finals life on the line and against a Penrith side struggling for form.

Forty minutes later there was no doubt the Panthers were the real deal as they confirmed their spot in the top four, while the Bunnies travelled back to big smoke with their cotton tails between their legs.

They did stage a mini revival in the second half, with 18 points in the space of five minutes, but even celebrity Bunnies owner Russell Crowe failed to last the hour in his sideline seat.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard would have been thankful she saved her time and stay across the road at the Chifley Hotel.

As poor as the Rabbitohs were over the opening 40 minutes, there would have been few sides who could have stopped the Panthers who were in the mood from the opening whistle when Sam McKendry sent a host of defenders tumbling.

Within three minutes McKendry had his first and by the 40 minutes the home side had seven.

Travis Burns and Sandor Earl scored doubles with Burns' first instigated by a brilliant Luke Walsh run from inside his own territory.

Walsh had a hand in five of the seven four-pointers, but only one came from the boot which has been their normal method of attack in 2010.

Gordon joined in on the doubles party with an individual effort four minutes after the restart before Luke Capewell, Rhys Wesser and Dylan Farrell all scored to give the Bunnies fans something to cheer about.

Souths coach John Lang did his best to heap praise on the opposition rather than lament his own side's inept performance.

"They just blew us off the park ... it's hard for me to work out at this stage whether they were that good or we were that bad or both," said Lang, who also confirmed centre Beau Champion had suffered a broken leg.

"We just couldn't contain them. You could probably find 50 areas where we went wrong ... too much pace, too much power, too much ball movement, they just got us everywhere."

While happy with the win, Panthers coach Matthew Elliott wasn't getting carried away after watching his side win just one of their previous six games.

"It's a good feeling sitting here not pretending to smile and having a real one," he said.

"I don't think we've turned right around just yet - I think we certainly steered the ship in the right direction but we've still got a little bit more to do."

Gordon admitted he was unaware of the games points record he had broken, the Panthers no doubt delighted to have re-signed the point-scoring machine.

"(I had) no idea until fulltime - I was pretty stoked," he said of the record.

"I knew I was getting close to Girds' season record but I wasn't expecting to get it in one game, maybe by the end of the year I was hopeful."

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