The Panthers NYC team has had the ultimate revenge on the Bulldogs, running away with 54-30 win at ANZ Stadium tonight.
The Doggies beat our boys back in round 3 in front of our home crowd, and despite staging a gallant comeback attempt in the second half, we held on for the win to even the score, getting us one step closer to the top 8.
We didn’t get off to a great start with the Bulldogs scoring first after Shaun Lane broke through Penrith’s defence and steamed off down the field before passing to Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy who had plenty of room to move, and he carried the ball over the line. The conversion missed, so the home side took a 6-0 lead, 10 minutes into the match.
But the Panthers hit back a few minutes later when we picked up a loose Bulldogs ball and ran at our line. Sione Katoa passed to Attwood 10m out and he dived over under the posts. Jarrod Brackenhofer sent the ball straight through the uprights to put Penrith in front 6-4.
22 minutes in, the Doggies had their second try after a nice backline play came together and Dujuan Liolevave did the rest, carrying the ball over the line. Brendan Cox added the extras with a pin point kick from the sideline to give the home side a 10-6 lead.
In what was shaping up to be a try for try affair, Jarrod Brackenhofer answered back for Penrith after shadowing Brenden Attwood before collecting a late offload and carrying the ball over the line unopposed. Bracks converted to give the Panthers a 12-10 lead.
Chris Smith backed that up a few minutes later after crashing through the Bulldogs backline from 30m out before sprinting down the field to get over the line under no pressure. The kick was right on target, extending Penrith’s lead to 18-10.
It was at this point that it looked like the Panthers could run away with the game. With 5 minutes until the half time break, NYC debutant Tyrone May scored his first try, collecting the ball from Sam Scarlett and finding a hole in the Bulldogs back line to run straight over the line, getting the ball down behind the posts. Bracks made the easy conversion from in front to extend the Panthers lead to 24-10.
We had our fourth unanswered try with 2 minutes on the clock after being awarded a penalty, 10m out from our line. We then sent the ball across the field and flicked it to Josh Jay on the wing, and he dived over the line just before taking out the corner post. The kick was waved away, to Penrith took a 28-10 lead into the break.
HALF TIME: 28-10 Panthers
The home side were first to put points on the board three minutes into this half. After drawing our defenders in, they sent the ball wide to Tavtalatasi Tasi who was unmarked on the sideline, and he dived over near the corner post. With the conversion, the score went to 28-16.
The bulldogs continued their fight back through a second try to Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy following a line break from second rower Shaun Lane who then drew the fullback and put the winger in space. The goal was converted, making the score 28-22.
In the 53rd minute, the Bulldogs continued their comeback with a try to powerful second rower Renouf To’omaga who beat a number of defenders on his way to the line. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score remained 28-26
Soon after, the Panthers responded with a try of their own when Brendan Attwood stormed through the line 40 metres out and took on the fullback himself to score under the posts. Brackenhoffer converted again and made it 34-26.
In the next set of six, Tyrone May continued his impressive debut with his second try of the night following a long run by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. This time, the kick was unsuccessful and the Panther’s lead remained 38-26.
The Bulldogs then hit back in the 64th minute to ensure a tense final 15 minutes of the game after Shaun Lane was able to attract two defenders and perform a basketball-like pass to winger Dujuan Liolevave who scored in the corner. The kick was waved away, meaning Panthers maintained an 8 point lead, 38-30.
After defending their own try line for a number of sets, Brackenhofer picked up a loose ball following an offload in the 73rd minute, and using some fancy footwork he got close enough to reach over and plant the ball under the posts. He converted his own try and the score became 44-30.
Bracks then turned provider when he put in a perfectly placed kick for Eddie Aiono who caught the ball and scored in the left hand corner taking the score to 48-30.
To put the icing on the cake for the Panthers, Chris Smith sprinted 50 metres to score his second try in the dying seconds of the game after breaking through the front line of the Bulldogs defence. Brackenhoffer converted to take his personal tally to 22 points and the final score to 54-30.
FULLTIME: Panthers 54 Bulldogs 30