Jamie Soward has led the Panthers to a 23-8 win over his former club St George Illawarra, in our second pool match at the Auckland Nines tournament at Eden Park.
In front of a boisterous and enthusiastic crowd, the Panthers made it two wins from two games, after beating the Storm 14-11 earlier in the day. We have one final match to play tomorrow against Souths before the quarter finals.
In tonight’s game, the Dragons opened the scoring in the first two minutes when a beautifully timed bomb sailed into the waiting hands of their left winger, who dived down to get the try despite the best efforts of Soward.
But a few minutes later we hit back when George Jennings found a hole in the Dragons back line and made a break for it, taking off up the field before being tackled about 20m out. After a few attempts at our line the ball was sent left to where Jennings was ready and waiting to run it over the line.
A few moments later we were in again, this time through speedy winger Eto Nabuli. The flying Fijian plucked the ball out of the air on the sideline, and dived over to score. Soward kicked for goal and was on target, so Penrith took a 10-4 lead, heading into half time.
HALF TIME: 10-8 Panthers
The second half started like the first with St George Illawarra getting the first points. They put a bomb into the right corner where Nabuli went for it, but was beaten by the Dragons winger who grounded it over the line.
But Nabuli made amends a few plays later and got his second try of the day! Sowie got the ball and took off down the middle of the park, and out of nowhere, Eto came steaming in from the wing to back him up. A quick pass to the left and he was off! A few Dragons defenders tried to catch him but couldn’t, and he ran in for a 5 point try under the posts, extending our lead to 17-8.
The final nail in the coffin came courtesy of Jennings who got his second try with 2 minutes on the clock. He found a hole and went straight up the guts and over the line! Sowie’s kick was on target, and the Panthers had won the match 23-8.
FULL TIME: 23-8 Panthers