Last Updated: 04/09/20 2:32pm
Recap all of the latest NRL action as the Newcastle Knights thrash the Sharks, Storm win at the Rabbitohs and the Panthers win again, this time against the Broncos…
Newcastle 38-10 Cronulla Sharks
An 80 minutes of ill-discipline from the Sharks left Cronulla with three players on report, Chad Townsend sent off and the club’s finals run in jeopardy during a nightmare 38-10 thrashing from Newcastle.
While the Sharks defence was torn to shreds, inexplicable on-field frustrations threaten to do the same to the eighth-placed side, with Townsend’s shoulder charge into Kalyn Ponga’s head the flashpoint in the fieriest of affairs.
Townsend’s marching orders in the 52nd minute followed an ugly lifting tackle that saw captain Wade Graham and Toby Rudolf placed on report in the first half.
Braden Hamlin-Uele will also come under scrutiny from the match review committee for his own lifting effort in the second stanza.
A 22-4 half-time lead was Newcastle’s reward for their best 40 minutes of the season, with Ponga, Kurt Mann, a busted Mitch Pearce and resurgent Mason Lino all outstanding.
Ponga would finish with the first hat-trick of his career, 15 tackle busts and 222 running metres, the only blemish on his night a couple of shanks off the kicking tee.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-22 Melbourne Storm
A superb 80 minutes from Ryan Papenhuyzen helped Melbourne to an impressive 22-16 win over a South Sydney side that lost no fans despite a tough loss at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
Melbourne only hit the lead for the first time in the 67th minute as the Bunnies backed up big wins over Manly and Parramatta with a determined effort against the second-placed Storm.
The brutal clash featured five separate HIA checks, with Rabbitoh Kaeon Koloamatangi failing to return after a knock early in the second half, while Melbourne could lose prop Christian Welch for next week after he was placed on report for a crusher tackle.
While Souths were impressive in keeping pace with the Storm, too many unforced errors with the game on the line proved costly with their second half offering little threat to Melbourne.
Papenhuyzen scored one try and set up two more in the four-tries-to-two victory, running for nearly 200 metres and busting eight tackles.
Souths badly missed the spark of Latrell Mitchell at the back, with Corey Allan solid but unspectacular in the role after originally being named on the wing.
Brisbane Broncos 12-25 Penrith Panthers
On Thursday, the Panthers continued their march towards the minor premiership with a 25-12 victory over an improved Broncos, securing their 12th win in a row in the process.
The win at Suncorp Stadium took Penrith to 31 points on the ladder, five clear of the Melbourne Storm in second position.
It was the guile and skill of the Panthers halves Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary, along with hooker Api Koroisau, that proved decisive.
The Panthers’ winning streak of 12 equals the Roosters (2015) and Storm (2011) in previous seasons and has only been bettered in the NRL era by the 2016 premiership-winning Sharks with 15 consecutive wins, and the Bulldogs of 2002 who chalked up 17 on the trot.
The Broncos became the first team in the club’s history to lose 14 games in a season and the first to lose eight regular season matches in a row.