Rugby League

Panthers edge Manly despite Talau's four-try haul

June 9, 2024 8:50 pm

[Source: NRL]

A first-half hat-trick to Brian To’o has fired Penrith to a 10-point victory over the Sea Eagles.

The match was a free-flowing, entertaining affair, with the two teams combining for 11 tries and 54 points. Sea Eagles winger Tommy Talau crossed for four on his own, however it was not enough to secure his team the win.

While Manly were clinical in attacking territory, Penrith were methodical throughout and finished with an 87% completion rate that allowed them to largely dictate proceedings.

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To’o and Talau each scored first-half hat-tricks in an eventful opening 40 minutes.

The Penrith winger opened the scoring, however it was the visitors who dominated the middle period of the first half.

Talau crossed for three tries in the space of eight minutes as the Sea Eagles sent multiple attacking raids down their left edge.

Penrith’s left flank was just as lethal, however, and improved field position eventually led to To’o’s second in the 32nd minute.

The winger completed his hat-trick four minutes later, with the Panthers thrilled to head to the sheds with a 16-12 lead courtesy of Paul Alamoti’s two conversions.

To’o had remarkable stats of three tries, 158 running metres, four line breaks and 11 tackle breaks in the first half. Talau was just as good, with three tries, 124m, three line breaks and four tackle busts.

The action shifted to the right-hand side of the field after the break, with winger Sunia Turuva extending Penrith’s margin in the 51st minute.

The 21-year-old started the try-scoring motion by bursting straight through the middle of the Sea Eagles defence before he was eventually dragged down. The Panthers attacked left on the ensuing play before Jarome Luai swung the ball back to the right and Turuva eventually had an unimpeded run to the tryline.

The premiers turned the screws from that point, slowly wearing their opponents down and taking control of the contest.

The pressure led to a Liam Henry try and suddenly Penrith had turned a 12-4 deficit into a 28-12 lead with 19 minutes to play.

Manly, however, still had an ace up their sleeve and Talau had his fourth moments later to keep his side in the contest.

Penrith kept their noses in front when Turuva finished off one of the tries of the season before Jason Saab joined the try-scoring party to set up a grandstand finish.

That was where the scoring concluded, with the Panthers holding on to claim an enthralling 32-22 win.