Tyrone May has returned to Rugby League for the first since an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and was the most dominant player in the Penrith Panthers win over the North Sydney Bears.
Match: Bears v Panthers
Round 10 -
Venue: North Sydney Oval
He scored two tries, and in both cases he started the play and backed up for the four-pointer. His kicking game was good in tough conditions in his first game in seven months, and will certainly take plenty of confidence out of his first hit-out.
Ratu Tuisese picked up a hat-trick for the Panthers; with his second try being one of the best tries of the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership season.
Connor Tracey looked certain to score for the Bears after a scoreless opening 20 minutes, but Intrust Super Premiership debutant Billy Burns showed some desperate scramble defence by holding the crafty half up.
In his return to Rugby League, it would be Tyrone May to inject his class into the game when he played short to Adam Keighran who broke through and then offloaded to a supporting May, who never gave up on the play and ran away for the opening try.
Quick hands from Caleb Aitkens gave the Panthers a double-digit lead when he received a pass by Wayde Egan while attacking the Bears’ line, and the fullback threw a perfect slight-of-hand cut-out ball to Ratu Tuisese who athletically dived over in the corner.
Tracey made sure the Bears took advantage of their next try-scoring opportunity after being denied earlier when he threw a perfect two-man cut-out pass to Braidon Burns, who calmly took advantage of the overlap by giving the ball to an unmarked 18-year-old Mawene Hiroti.
On the stroke of half-time, the Panthers seemed to have numbers on the left while on the attack, but some brilliant vision by Liam Coleman saw them go right as he threw a long pass to Sam Smith who stepped off his left foot to increase their lead to 16-4.
Tuisese pulled another amazing try out of his bag of tricks to start the second half, having even less space than he did in his previous try and jumped like superman to plant the ball down in the corner with almost all of his body on the other side of the sideline.
For the second time in the game, May started and finished a try when he threw an inside ball to Aitkens when the defence thought the kick was going up, and then he backed up to receive the ball and score his second try of the afternoon.
Burns showed his class by scoring the next try for the Bears, getting one on one with a defender close to the line and using fancy footwork to get through him with ease.
Tom Eisenhuth went close to scoring as he was brought down just before the line, but Egan took advantage of the backtracking defence by throwing a great pass out of dummy half and putting Reed Izzard through a hole adjacent to the posts.
Tarquinn Butler scored an incredible try near the end of the game when he found space and put in a grubber in-field that was handled by nobody, and he somehow won the race to the ball and scored.
Tuisese then got his hat-trick just before full-time by taking an intercept, capping off a great game for him and the Panthers.
Penrith Panthers 38 (R Tuisese 3, T May 2, S Smith, R Izzard tries; A Keighran 5 goals) def North Sydney Bears 14 (M Hiroti, B Burns, T Butler tries; D Hawkins goal)