The Panthers have made it back to back wins, beating the Gold Coast 34-18 at cbus super Stadium today.
There was only one change prior to kick-off, with Brendan Attwood coming into the starting side at Lock, for Sione Katoa. Sam Scarlett and Christian Crichton had outstanding games, and our defensive efforts overall, were to be applauded.
Penrith was slow to start and for the first 20 minutes, it felt like the Gold Coast would run rings around us. But we eventually kicked into gear and got back to our game plan, and managed to hold on for the win.
A few mistakes in the Panthers defence handed the Titans their first try in the 9th minute of play. The home side picked the ball up after a kick on the last, and after breaking through several tackles on our 10m line, they took off down the field to run in a 90m try. The kick was waved away, so the score went to 4-0.
Gold Coast had their second try in the 20th minute when a grubber kick was sent into the in-goal and sat up perfectly for fullback Jahrome Hughes to run onto and ground. This time the kick was on target so the Titans extended their lead to 10-0.
For the next 10 minutes, Penrith got a little more aggressive in attack and it paid off with a try! Sam Scarlett took the ball from dummy half and dodged a couple of defenders, getting to within centimetres of our line before being brought down. Hooker Josh Tangitau then got the ball and ploughed his way through the Gold Coast’s back line to get the ball down. Corey Harawira converted, taking the score to 10-6.
We backed that up a couple of minutes later thanks to another blistering run by Scarlett who got the ball close to our line. Tangitau picked the ball up from dummy half and flicked it to Brendan Attwood, who rolled off a Titans player and fell over the line to score. The kick from in front went straight through the uprights, and the Panthers took the lead 12-10, with less than 5 minutes until the half time break.
HALFTIME: 12-10 Panthers
The second half began like the first, with the home side scoring first after a silly mistake from the Panthers. In the 47th minute, the Titans put a grubber in and our boys chased it thinking it was going dead, only to have a Gold Coast player grab it and bat it back into play, where Kane Elgey got it down before it went out of play. The kick missed, but once again the Gold Coast took the lead 14-12.
But the Panthers hit back in the 52nd minute when Sam Scarlett put a beautiful chip kick over everyone’s heads and Waqa Blake jumped up, plucked the ball out of the air and planted it over the line. Harawira’s kick went straight through the posts giving Penrith an 18-14 lead.
Josh Jay made amends for an earlier mistake and scores our next try. It all started when Brent Naden broke away and sprinted through the Titans defence, before offloading to Jarrod Brackenhofer who ran 40m before being brought down. The ball then travelled left out to Jay on the wing, who beat a Gold Coast defender to the line. Harawira’s kick bounced off the uprights but still went through, extending the Panthers lead to 24-14, with 20 minutes remaining.
In the 61st minute the home side scored again when a loose pass found centre Connor Broadhurst on the 10m line, and he sprinted to the line and got the ball down next to the corner post. The kick missed, so the score went to 24-18.
Then in the 68th minute, young gun Christian Crichton scored his first try in Under 20’s after collecting a very quick pass on the sideline and running it in near the corner post. Harawira made the very tricky conversion, extending the Panthers lead to 30-18.
Waqa Blake then scored his second try of the day, getting the ball on the 10m line and then dragging two Titans defenders over the line with him. Harawira’s kick was wide so the score went to 34-18 with 5 minutes on the clock.
FULL TIME: 34-18 Panthers