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RLB Opens wrap: Former Broncos shine in Panthers drubbing

Wests Arana Hills moved into equal first spot alongside Burpengary Jets in the Rugby League Brisbane Open 1 men’s competition, with a convincing 44-12 win against Redlands Parakeets played at Kev McKell Oval on Saturday.

The Panthers, boasting former Brisbane Broncos players Josh Hoffman and Korbin Sims and coached by former Queensland Maroons winger Jharal Yow Yeh, were simply too classy for the unlucky Parakeets side.

With only three minutes of play under way, things looked ominous early on for Redlands when Jack Walters regathered a chip 'n' chase to cross under the sticks.

Not two minutes later, a towering bomb from Panthers halfback Elijah Whickham saw the ball dropped by the Parakeets 10 metres out from their line.

The ball was regathered by the clever halfback, who slid in under the posts.

Reliable Panthers winger Keanan Yow Yeh wasted no time in adding his name to the scoresheet, crossing in the 22nd minute of play after some superb downfield kicking by Whickham.

In true Redlands fighting spirit though, they refused to cave in and it was their big men holding the fort in defence as best as they could against the red-hot Panthers.

Forwards Lexus Greening and Toby Chapman were outstanding on a losing side and fought to the bitter end for the baysiders.

However, the Panthers were in no mood to take the foot off the throttle and their next try was a cracker.

Speed demon Ray Newell’s 70-metre intercept was breathtaking to watch, as the winger put the afterburners on to outrun the Parakeets defence to score what was a superb solo effort.

Former New Zealand international Hoffman was the catalyst for the Panthers next try scored right on halftime.

The classy fullback opened up the Redlands defence to find replacement Evan Young, who crossed beside the sticks sending the home side into the break with a commanding 28-0 lead.

With only three minutes of play under way in the second half, the Panthers' try onslaught continued.

Newell, fresh off his first half effort, inched his way down the sideline to cross for his second of the afternoon.

However, it was the Panthers big boppers making the easy yards through Sims, Nathan Cameron and Andrew Roberston, who put the home side in good field position for their next try.

The experienced Whickham delivered a beautiful pass to his centre Thomas Robertson who crashed his way over the line to see the home side edge out to a 38-0 lead.

With the Panthers playing a man down due to a sin binning, the Parakeets saw an opportunity in the 56th minute when Josh Damen noticed an overlap out wide and sent in centre Alex Graham for the visitors' first try of the afternoon.

Back-to-back tries for Redlands through halfback Hersom added some respectability to the scoreline, but it would be the home side having the last say when Walters crossed under the sticks right on the fulltime hooter.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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