August 8, 2020, 5:36

Saturday’s NRL wrap: Charlie Staines stars for Penrith; Luke Thompson suffers Canterbury debut loss

Saturday’s NRL wrap: Charlie Staines stars for Penrith; Luke Thompson suffers Canterbury debut loss

Luke Thompson and Brisbane’s Tevita Pangai Jr went head to head

We recap Saturday’s NRL action, including news of England forward Luke Thompson’s debut for Canterbury Bulldogs and a teenage sensation making his mark for Penrith Panthers…

Cronulla Sharks 24-56 Penrith Panthers

Debutant Charlie Staines led the way with four tries as Penrith stormed to victory over Cronulla in a high-scoring encounter at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

A total of 80 points and 14 tries were scored between the teams, with 19-year-old centre Staines making a huge impact on his first NRL appearance.

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Brett Naden got the ball rolling for the Panthers with the opening try after just three minutes, with further scores from Liam Martin and Stephen Crichton helping the visitors into a 16-0 lead after just 19 minutes.

Winger Staines, called into the side in place of the injured Brian To’o, and Dylan Edwards pushed Penirth further ahead, although Cronulla pulled the deficit back to 26-12 at half time thanks to converted scores from Briton Nikora and Blake Brailey.

There was no let-up from the Panthers when play resumed though as Staines, Billy Burns and Crichton all crossed, along with Nathan Cleary kicking a penalty, to keep the scoreboard ticking over despite James Tamou being sin-binned.

Charlie Staines made an impact on his Penrith debut

Cronulla, who also had Aaron Woods sent to the sin-bin, did manage two more tries through Jesse Ramien and Nene Macdonald, but two more tries from Staines in the final seven minutes made him the first player to score four tries on his NRL debut since Jordan Atkins for Gold Coast Titans in 2008.

Brisbane Broncos 26-8 Canterbury Bulldogs

Luke Thompson’s first appearance for Cantebury ended in defeat as Brisbane snapped a six-game losing run in the clash of two of the competition’s strugglers.

England international Thompson lined up at loose forward for the Bulldogs and made an impact in both attack and defence early on with big carries and tackles.

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But ultimately the Broncos proved too strong, relieving some of the pressure which head coach Anthony Seibold had been under following a string of poor results.

Corey Oates put the hosts ahead with a try on six minutes and Tevita Pangai Jr added to that tally 11 minutes later with a try converted by Jamayne Isaako. Nick Meaney’s unconverted score for Canterbury on 28 minutes made it 10-4 to the Broncos at half-time.

Isaako’s converted try three minutes after the restart kept Brisbane in the ascendancy and he added a penalty on 54 minutes followed by Xavier Coates crossing on the hour to give the Suncorp Stadium faithful more to cheer.

Jamayne Isaako scored two tries for Brisbane

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak’s 68th-minute score proved scant consolation for Cantebury and Isaako wrapped up the scoring with his second try five minutes from time, handing the Bulldogs their eighth loss of the season.


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