Fiji Bati fullback Sunia Turuva scored two tries on return for the Penrith Panthers in their impressive 44-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys’ in Round 27 of the NRL at BlueBet Stadium on Saturday.
The defending champions overpowered the Cowboys in the opening half of the game as five-eighth Jack Cogger produced three try assists early to set up tries to Stephen Crichton and Turuva before Liam Martin went over on the right edge through a short pass by the fill-in playmaker.
Brian To’o and Luke Sommerton added two more tries while Nathan Cleary slotted three conversions for an inspiring 26-0 lead at the breather.
The Cowboys’ made a quick start to the second half scoring two back-to-back tries through Griffin Neame and Zac Laybutt while Scott Drinkwater converted both for a full 12 points.
North Queensland continued to enjoy some field position and momentum but it was soon over when Turuva grabbed a double on the left edge with a weaving effort before Cleary and To’o added two more consolation tries as Cleary converted all three to claim the 2023 minor premiership.