The Panthers have lost a nail biting match at Brookvale Oval this afternoon, going down to the Sea Eagles 28-24 in the dying minutes of the game.
With a handful of new faces in the side, Trent Barrett’s boys lacked discipline in defence and weren’t as fluent as they have been in previous weeks, and Manly made the most of it.
Penrith opened the scoring in the 7th minute of the game after Chris Smith broke through Manly’s defence and got us up to the 10m line, before the ball was spread across the field to Robert Jennings, who offloaded to Christian Crichton who dived over to score. Corey Harawira-Naera coverted to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
The home side hit back five minutes later after drawing our defenders off their marks on the wing and then passing the ball to fullback Tom Trbojevic, who had plenty of room to run over the line and score. The kick drifted to the left, so the score went to 6-4.
With 6 minutes until the half time break, Sione Katoa was sent off for a professional foul in a tackle and the Sea Eagles made the most of the depleted Penrith side, scoring in the next set. Five eighth Will Pearsall collected the ball inside the 10m and barged his way over under the posts. The conversion put them in front 10-6.
HALF TIME: 10-6 Manly
Manly struck first three minutes into this half after some sloppy play gave them possession and they ran the ball to their 20m line, before centre Luke Garner broke through Penrith’s defence and sprinted over the line to score next to the posts. With the conversion, the home side extended their lead to 16-6.
But the Panthers didn’t take long to fire back after capitalising on a dropped ball by Manly, 30m out from our line. After running the ball up, Tyrone May collected a pass just a few metres out from the line and put the ball into the perfect spot for Waqa Blake to run onto, and he darted over to score. Harawira-Naera sent the ball through the uprights to narrow the score 16-12, with 30 minutes of play remaining.
The next 8 minutes was played down our end of the field where we continuously hammered away at our line until finally breaking through thanks to a great ball from Blake, which put Chris Smith into enough space to run and fall over the line. Harawira-Naera was perfectly on target with his boot, putting the Panthers in front 18-16.
Blake and Smith were on fire again in the next set to produce another brilliant try! Blake picked the ball up after the second tackle and made a break for it, bolting down the field before passing to Smith who ran the ball up the remaining 20m metres. Harawira-Naera converted from in front to extend Penrith’s lead 24-16, with 17 minutes remaining.
With 6 minutes on the clock, the Sea Eagles crossed for their next try when Luke Gosling was left wide open on the wing, and had plenty of room to move when he was given the ball. The sideline conversion took the score to 24-22.
Then with two minutes remaining the home side stole the game with another try to Luke Garner, right behind the posts. The conversion in the final minute put Manly in front 28-24.
FULL TIME: 28-24 Manly