The Panthers have toppled ladder leaders Gold Coast 14-12 in what was one of our best defensive games so far this season.
In front of an Easter Monday crowd of 9,555 our boys withstood countless attempts by the Titans to cross their line in the second half.
Josh Mansour had a brilliant game and was all over the park, Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace led the team brilliantly around the field, and Jamal Idris showed his former team what they’re missing out on.
We had a few last minute changes to the side with Dave Simmons returning from injury to take up his position on the wing, while Tim Grant was promoted to the starting line-up for Sam Mckendry, who rolled his ankle at training yesterday.
Panthers drew first blood 7 minutes in when Jamie Soward sent a beautifully timed pass into some space on the right wing and Dean Whare plucked it out of the air and ran through three Titans defenders to score! Sowie converted and the home side took a 6-0 lead.
For the next 23 minutes the ball travelled the length of the field several times but neither team could get over their line. Penrith’s defence was outstanding and the boys held out several fierce attacks from the big Titans pack.
With 10 minutes until half time a Gold Coast fumble in the in-goal gave us our next try. Jamie Soward put a grubber kick in from 10m out and a Titans defender went for the ball but dropped it; it then bounced off another Gold Coast player into some open space, and Matt Moylan dived on it to score! Sowie’s kick was on target again, and the Panthers extended their lead to 12-0.
Then with three minutes on the clock, Gold Coast put their first points on the board when big Ryan James barged his way through our pack and burrowed his way over the line. The try was awarded despite serious argument from our Captains who claimed he was held up. Their conversion was on target as well, so the score went to 12-6.
HALF TIME: 12-6 Panthers
Penrith started this half strongly and in the 49th minute we almost added another four points to our haul when Wallace put a bomb over to the left side of the field, it bounced in some open space before landing in the hands of a Gold Coast defender. Sowie tackled him and knocked it free before picking it up and running in to plant it down over the line. The try was disallowed after the ref deemed the play a strip, but Panthers were awarded a penalty for a hit on Jamal Idris. Sowie kicked for two, taking the score to 14-6.
In the 60th minute, Gold Coast player Matthew White was put on report for a dangerous tackle on Adam Docker, who was dropped on his head. Luckily he wasn’t seriously hurt and play continued.
Penrith then came under pressure when the Titans got back to back sets up their end after a couple of ball fumbles from us, but we held strong and managed to keep them out.
With 3 minutes on the clock some quick ball play by the Titans on their 10m line left our boys a little stunned, and five-eighth Aiden Sezer ran straight through our back line to score. The kick went straight through the uprights so the score went to 14-12.
For the last couple of minutes the Titans kept possession of the ball and got dangerously close to getting over their line, but the mountain men stood their ground and as the full time siren went, we celebrated the win!
FULL TIME: 14-12 Panthers