Let’s be honest, the Penrith Panthers provided themselves a good 30 highlights tonight, as they completed the rare modern-day feat of Back-to-Back Premierships, but I felt this play was the best of the lot, because it pretty much summed up how thoroughly the Panthers crapped on Parramatta for the best part of 70 minutes.
The Panthers are 22-0 up after 58 minutes, the game and the Premiership pretty much done to a dinner due to suffocating the Eels’ attack, but in a bid to avoid a humiliating shutout, the Eels get creative and kick early to get a line break down the left edge, and Bailey Simonsson explodes over 40 metres past 2 Panthers defenders…
But Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards ran across in coverage, mowed down Simonsson and took him over the sideline, ala Scott Sattler on Todd Byrne, utterly crushing any lest vestiges of hope the Eels had of a premiership, which pretty much cemented Edwards as the Clive Churchill Medalist there and then.
In fact, it’s so good it deserves 3 separate replays.
What a beautiful piece of defensive play from Edwards, and it was a play that summed up how utterly futile most of Parra’s forays into Panthers’ territory were across the whole night, although the other important thing to note is that the tackle did result in Simonsson popping out his left shoulder out due to the impact with the ground, so all the best to young Bailey.
Of course, the Eels did get two consolation tries after Jakob Arthur came on the ground and changed the momentum of the game with 5 minutes to go when the Panthers were dreaming of popping champagne corks, making the final result 28-12, which is 16 points closer than anyone will ever remember the final result being.
Proving it’s a small world after all, the touch judge for Scott Sattler’s tackle on Todd Byrne in 2003 was Glynn Henderson.
Tonight, the touch judge on the sideline of Edwards’ tackle on Simonsson was Phil Henderson, who is Glynn’s son.