Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers: 6 things we learned

The Panthers bounced back in fine fashion from last week's hammering to bring the curtain down on the Sea Eagles' 2017 season, but what did we learn?

The game was only one week after Manly’s 28-12 win but that felt a long time ago as the Panthers outplayed the Eels to keep their finals hopes alive, prevailing 22-10 winners. They will now play the Broncos but before that, what did we learn from this clash?

  1. 1 Panthers take opportunities when it matters

    This game may be considered by some to be another argument for the finals being changed to a five-team series. Both sides made plenty of silly errors and struggled in attack. But when it came to crunch time, the Panthers got the job done.

    Tyrone Peachey managed to cross to send Penrith 14-10 ahead with a kick to come late on at a crucial stage of the game.

  2. 2 Carty party in full swing

    Bryce Cartwright has received a fair amount of criticism but he put on his best performance of the year to lead the Panthers to elimination play-off victory.

    Cartwright was impressive throughout and bagged two tries, including the match sealing four-pointer as he silenced the doubters with a sensational display.

  3. 3 Schoolboy errors on both sides

    From the moment Tyrone May spilled a kick-off after the Panthers had snuck ahead, you got the feeling that handling errors could play a big part in this contest. Any remaining doubt about that was ended when sensational fullback Tom Trbojevic dropped the ball under no pressure.

    Akuila Uate spilled a ball with no one near him as the Sea Eagles' chances were effectively ended with moments remaining on the clock.

  4. 4 Refs fault?

    He's never been one to hold back when speaking about officials but Trent Barrett took that to a whole new level when he questioned two key decisions that both went the Panthers way during the course of the game.

    Dylan Walker looked offside but Barrett insisted there was insufficient evidence to rule his four-pointer out while also claiming the review process was broken in relation to the awarding of Peachey's try.

    There was no conclusive evidence to suggest Peachey had knocked on, so the bunker had no grounds to go against the on-field decision of try.

    While plenty of Manly fans were quick to jump on the same wagon across social media, they were quickly reminded by Cowboys fans about Kieran Foran's 'hand of God' moment a few years ago.

  5. 5 Reagan Campbell-Gillard gets stuck in

    The Panthers pack was accused of being soft and easily beaten through the middle by the Sea Eagles last week. Last night, they stood up and went toe-to-toe with their more-fancied opponents and Reagan Campbell-Gillard led the charge.

    RCG launched forward with intent and came out on top against the Sea Eagles' engine room.

    His ruffling of an opponent after a penalty was given away showed he was prepared to go to battle with Manly and he was up for the fight.

    He ended the night with 115m and 27 tackles in a big shift while he was backed up well by good efforts from Peter Wallace, Corey Harawira-Naera and Moses Leota who stood tall.

  6. 6 Dylan Walker much quieter this time around

    Walker didn't play badly after leading the verbal assault during Manly's 28-12 win last week. But once full time sounded in this defeat, he seemed far more reserved.

    There's little doubt that Walker is a supremely talented footballer but it would seem his mouth creates more problems for his teammates than would be necessary.

    I'm all for a bit of verbal during the heat of the game, but Walker seems to attract too much trouble for his own good.

    What were your highlights from the Panthers' big win over the Sea Eagles? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?

Daniel Lang


Rugby League & Cricket editor at RealSport.

Daniel is a passionate advocate for the game of rugby league and the development of the sport across the world and, as such, writes with a zeal and determination to spread the gospel of the game.

A huge fan of cricket, football, NFL, Tennis and Supercar racing in Australia, Daniel can quickly find himself a casual fan of just about any sport after putting his mind to watching it.

Daniel is also one-half of the hugely successful podcast 'Panthers Weekly with Strawbs & Teach' where he talks all things Panthers Weekly while he also hosts the current affairs show 'the Strawbs Show' and the 'Summer of Cricket with Strawbs & Shnuu' as well as appearing on the Sydney FC covering 'Nothing But Blue Skies' podcast occasionally.