Panthers keep Sea Eagles grounded
PENRITH backrower Luke Lewis may have been stunned to lose the team captaincy before yesterday's 22-4 win over Manly, but you wouldn't noticed by the way he played.
Lewis was given the news by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary before the game at Centrebet Stadium, the decision to replace the skipper with Kevin Kingston during the Origin period reportedly made so Lewis could concentrate on his NSW commitments.
If he was disappointed it didn't show - the 28-year-old scored a try, ran for 86m and completed 20 tackles in another typically reliable performance.
"I don't think it's long-term," Kingston told Fox Sports after the game when he was asked about the captaincy changeover.
"Luke's a real team player. Ivan has showed he's not scared to drop anybody."
Manly blew a host of try-scoring opportunities through handling errors in the first half, but the Panthers dominated possession in the second half which they won 18-0.
They scored two four-pointers courtesy of grubbers before Lewis' show-and-go try after 73 minutes which wrapped up the contest.
A Lachlan Coote grubber was pounced on by Brad Tighe after 63 minutes before Geoff Daniela followed though on a Luke Walsh kick along the ground after 68 minutes.