The Penrith Panthers all but solidified their status as premiership favourites at Bathurst's Carrington Park on Saturday, with a hard-fought 28-16 win over Manly Sea Eagles in their round 8 National Rugby League encounter.
The game was watched by a crowd of 5800, with Manly becoming the seventh side to play an official NRL round in Bathurst.
Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke said it was a delight to see the NRL return to Carrington Park after two years.
"It's the first major event the venue has hosted since Sir Elton John's concert in January, so it was nice to see Carrington Park come to life again," Cr Bourke said.
"Penrith achieved a great win, and I'm pleased to report staff and players from both sides were impressed by Bathurst's welcoming atmosphere."
Cr Bourke said the NRL game provides a vital injection into the local economy each year.
"It's such a premier event for the town, and with the Royal Bathurst Show also occurring over the weekend, it showcases Bathurst's capabilities as a destination city," he said.
The Panthers are currently contracted to bring an NRL game to Carrington Park until 2028, with nine teams, including heavyweights such as the Roosters and Rabbitohs, yet to play an official league game locally.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: