THE GOOD: Imagine if we could play at the highest level every week scoring a stack of blazing tries, never missing a tackle, and winning every match by 30 points. Of course that's impossible, yet it's what a lot of the whingers expect, along with the predictable posts stating with disgust "we're in a form slump", or worse still "we'll never win the comp playing like this". Have a look through the results of the Storm and Saints over the 20 rounds to date. On many occasions they simply ground out solid, tight wins. The Storm for example have posted away wins of 16-6 v Souths, 16-8 v Warriors, and 12-4 v Tigers. Hardly earth shattering, but 2 points every time. And so to a tough match away at Penrith, with no Choc and a late Robbo withdrawal. 1st half: Dessie made it clear we were going to work harder on our defence, and that's exactly what we did. A 6-0 defensive first half should have been 12-0 given the ridiculous no try ruling against DCE after Foran clearly one on one stripped the ball backwards. But even 6-0 seemed comfortable, and it was as though both teams knew it. 2nd half: We set out to move up from 2nd to 3rd gear, but a rash of poor discipline penalties really cost us possession. Yes a few were questionable, but many of them were obvious such as Ballin's poor 5th tackle hands on the ball in the 49th minute. Penrith had little idea what to do with it, but with constant penalties and possession any team will eventually score and finally they did. Burns lined up the regulation conversion for 6-6 but came up with one of the worst shanks this year, and that miss really sunk the Panthers heads. It was as if they knew we'd score and go up by 8, and after a few near misses, the inevitable occurred in the 61st minute when Foran put Brett into a perfect hole to step on the accelerator, roar through the gap, and draw a simple pass to the always backing up Foran to score. In typical Foran style it wasn't a regulation put down either, several defenders bombarded him but the gutsy hero slammed through them all to score. 12-4 and virtually game over. A Penrith try out wide in the 79th minute made the 12-8 score a lot closer than it really was. Maybe I'm a glass half full guy, but I thought it was a tight but very safe win without having to get out of 3rd gear all day. In terms of individual performances, Brett barely needed to get out of 2nd gear but still looked great, Hoppa showed he hasn't played for some time but will be fine for the run, Oldfield involved himself really well, (anyone know what happened to Robbo?), Matai made fantastic damaging hit ups and Jamie ditto Brett. Foran was given the ch 9 man of the match which he probably deserved for the key match winning try alone at exactly the time it was needed. DCE did some good things but threw in some sloppy errors too. Problem? Nope he's still a rookie and he's definitely our very bright future. In the forwards Kitey was our best prop with 83 metres, 12 hit ups and 31 tackles, including a superb 2nd half cover tackle to extinguish an alarmingly dangerous Penrith 50 metre sideline counter attack. All of our other forwards played their part without any definitive stand outs, Buhrer looking the most likely to make a break albeit courtesy of being the lucky receipient of Foran's gem left side attack. I would have liked to see Lussick get a proper run instead of the 'send him on with 5 to go' annoying thing, but hey Des is the man and knows what he's doing. Ballin again worked like a dog with 46 tackles, and it was good to see him make some sharp dummy half runs too. THE BAD: A no brainer, the penalty count was very poor and we can't blame the refs for them all. Fortunately our defence was so good it nullified most of them, but I'm sure Des will be all over it at training this week. THE UGLY: 47% of possession, a 3-10 penalty count, and a 30-46 count in sets of 6 (that's 16 less sets!) made for a very ugly 2 points. But who cares, do Saints or Melb worry when they win ugly? Nope. A tasty 2 points for mine, and very, very smart to do it in 3rd gear and leave plenty in the tank for the Tigers in just 5 days time. On top of that we have Watmough and Robbo back next week, plus depth like Wolfman, T Rex and Tim Robinson up our sleeve. Nothing ugly about that either. See you at Gosford.