Panthers move to equal second on NRL ladder
In front of 13,000 fans at Win Stadium, the Panthers have dug deep and put their injury worries aside to produce one of their best defensive efforts of the season in a 16-4 win over St George Illawarra.
It was a big game for the Panthers who are fighting to hold onto their top 4 spot as we edge closer to finals. Isaah Yeo, Matt Robinson and Tim Grant who were brought into the side to replace Bryce Cartwright, Elijah Taylor and Brent Kite, slotted in extremely well and maintained the strength and focus we’ve had over the last few weeks.
It was also the first time Jamie Soward had returned to the Dragons home ground since his departure from the club last year, and he put in a top performance for the occasion. He got to play a good kicking game and he read the weather conditions very well, playing with the gusts of wind that whipped around the grandstands.
Today’s game was always going to be a tough battle with the 11th placed Dragons effectively playing for their season as they desperately try to edge closer to the top 8. They crossed for the first points of the day after drawing our wingers off their mark on the left side of the park, where fullback Adam Quinlan sidestepped Dave Simmons before offloading to Brett Morris on the sideline, and he sprinted the final 10m to score. The kick didn’t go the distance, to the Dragons took a 4-0 lead, 7 minutes into the game.
The Panthers hit back in the 14th minute after being awarded a penalty for a high shot on Dave Simmons. Starting on our own 30m line, we ran the ball up to our line where James Segeyaro collected a pass in front of the posts, side stepped a Dragons defender before spinning out of a tackle and diving towards the line to get his arm over to score. Jamie Soward converted from in front to put Penrith in front 6-4.
In the final minute of the half, Dave Simmons had to leave the field with a suspected concussion.
HALF TIME: Panthers 6-4
Penrith started strongly in this half and we had our second try two minutes in after Segeyaro collected the ball from dummy half and sent a beautiful pass to Adam Docker, who ran straight through two Dragons defenders and over the line to score. Soward’s kick went straight through the posts, giving the Panthers a 12-4 lead.
For the next 10 minutes, Penrith came under some intense pressure on their line after the Dragons were awarded repeat sets. But we defended well and eventually forced an error which gave us possession.
Both teams were driving hard at their line, desperately trying to find any way to get across, but the defence from both sides was outstanding.
With 8 minutes remaining, the Panthers scored again when Matt Moylan threw a high cut out pass across several players to Jamal Idris, and he found a gap between two Dragons defenders and ran straight over the line! The kick was waved away, so Penrith extended their lead to 16-4.
Penrith put their heads down and held their line for the remainder of the game to come away with the win!
FULL TIME: Panthers 16-4
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