That game had everything, some we would want to see over and over and others we wouldn’t want to see again.
A close analogy was the story of the 2 bulls on the hill looking down at the cows and when the young bull says to the older bull lets race down the hill and have our way with the cows and the older bull said lets just walk down and have our way with all the cows.
Storm were the young bulls who raced down the hill only to figure out they couldn’t perform all that well.
Panthers on the other hand simply worked their way through the whole herd.
And i have to tip my hat to Cogger, having that kick charged down could have ruined his night but to his credit he continued on as though it didn’t happen. Great credit to him.
I hope he learns from the charge down how to step a charging player but on Grant…how far was he in front of the ref to even get to Cogger for the charge down?
On the Nelson try, well the bunker had 3 simple choices.
A double movement which it was
A knock on which it was
Or award a try…which it wasnt
Then the Luai reporting for the tackle on Hughes was laughable.
Sort of follows a theme many on here have been saying for years, Panther always have to play 14 on the field.
any suspect calls will always go against us.
Storm did what Storm always do, try the blitzkrieg and minus the chargedown and the non try, it was working on the scoreboard but amazingly was having little to no affect on our squad except for some mistakes from players who are normally quite safe and some like Leota who appear to have lost their way in this opening salvo from them.
However Cleary made a masterful change in bringing Smith on who as a forward has to be in the “super sub” class and last night he continued his high workmate and effort.
That change midway through the first half was the game changer we needed and in doing so, we simply reset and went about what we do best…rolled through them and gave our backs time and space.
As Ivan noted to lead at half time was to him at least unbelievable but to us diehards wasnt that amazing because we got back to do what we do best.
The 2nd half was simply an embarrassment to Storm and an enormous validation of how good this squad is.
We controlled the forward momentum and gave the backs the time to do their job and this was evidenced by how we silenced Munster and Hughes.
The effort showed last night to everyone why this is the team to beat in 2023
We could fault plenty in the first 20 but in the rest of the game we were faultless and importantly ruthless.
Luai and Tago each received fines from the game and now the boys get to enjoy another week off.
This break is key as we now run into the final games of 23.
In my opinion Smith is the find and biggest improver in 23
Enjoy the week boys you deserve it.
I hear Cleary is slated to be back for the Dolphins game…i am sure the team at Panthers will not rush him back until he is 100%