Thirteen not unlucky for Penrith as Panthers make Eels statement

By Sports Desk September 11, 2020

Liam Martin scored a memorable leaping effort as Penrith Panthers made a statement of intent by defeating potential Finals rivals Parramatta Eels 20-2 to rack up a 13th straight NRL win.

Table-topping Penrith led 6-2 at the end of a low-scoring first half at Panthers Stadium on Friday, with Josh Mansour diving over from Jarome Luai's pass at the siren.

But the Eels eventually caved under a barrage of attacks, having held up several efforts in the first half, with Martin athletically snaring the ball out of the air to touch down in the 56th minute.

Luai went over in the final stages as well to add gloss to the scoreline and provide the third-place Eels a reminder of the task they could potentially face come Finals time in October.

In Friday's other contest, Manly Sea Eagles triumphed 32-20 at rock-bottom Canterbury Bulldogs with Taniela Paseka, Curtis Sironen, Brad Parker, Jack Gosiewski, Morgan Harper and Martin Taupau all scoring in the six-try effort.

The win was soured slightly by late injuries to Cade Cust (ankle) and Addin Fonua-Blake (knee). The former is expected to miss the final two rounds, while the latter is doubtful to play against Gold Coast Titans next week.

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    430 – Smith holds the record for most NRL games following a glittering career in the Australian competition, having debuted for the Storm in 2002. He is the only player to have amassed over 400 appearances.

    310 – He also holds the record for most wins in premiership matches. Of those victories, 242 were as skipper – the most as a captain.

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    1,295 – Smith stands alone for goals kicked in the NRL – 353 more than any other player in premiership history.

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    3 – Smith ends his NRL career with Premierships in 2012, 2017 and 2020. It could have been five, but the Storm were stripped of Grand Final triumphs in 2007 and 2009 due to salary-cap breaches.

    42 – A Maroons veteran, he is the most-capped player in State of Origin history. Smith first appeared for Queensland in 2003.

    56 – Smith represented Australia more than fifty times. Only Darren Lockyer (59) managed more than Smith for the Kangaroos.

    33 – Lockyer (38) is the only player to have captained Australia on more occasions than Smith, who led the country to Rugby League World Cup glory in 2013 and 2017.

    2 – Smith was crowned the NRL's best and fairest player in 2006 and 2017. Only Thurston (four) and Andrew Johns (three) earned more honours.

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