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Penrith Panthers maintain unbeaten start to season with win over Brisbane Broncos


Penrith have a few Test weeks ahead with matches against the Eels, Storm and Roosters on the horizon – but who can stop them now?

It was a game that looked like a tussle with the Brisbane Broncos for almost an hour, before a burst of points gave them a 40-12 victory.

There were plenty of highlights, but the most special probably came from the boot of Nathan Cleary, who drilled a low kick halfway down the pitch for winger Taylan May to pick up and drop a one-handed smooth scoring.

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β€œIt was like a football corner, where they were just drilling the ball low and hard,” Andrew Johns said on Nine.

Duo sent to the bin of sin

It marked 20 consecutive home wins for Penrith, who remain the only unbeaten side in the NRL this year, and are now the first team since the Storm in 2012-13 to win their first six games in consecutive seasons.

“It was a tough game, especially early on,” Cleary said.

Brisbane struck first thanks to a moment of magic from Kotoni Staggs to pull Tesi Niu away, before Jarome Luai answered for the hosts.

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As good as Staggs’ effort was on that opener, it was the striker’s failure to ground the ball on a grubber late in the first that proved hugely costly.

Instead of going into half time at 12-6, it was the reverse score as Scott Sorensen shared a lazy defense just before the siren.

“There was a period there where it got pretty ugly for us,” Brisbane captain Adam Reynolds said.

“They are prime ministers for a reason.”

The game got spicy towards the end, however, with Dylan Edwards and Keenan Palasia condemned for trading open-handed strikes to the face.

Cleary could be in trouble for a tackle where he left the floor and wrapped his legs around ball carrier Billy Walters, while an incident between Koby Hetherington and Jarome Luai saw the former catch the latter’s hair.

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