In one of the games of the season, the Panthers fought their way back into the match a number of times after trailing for much of the game. A Jamie Soward field goal in the final minute of the game has earned the Panthers a memorable victory. To see how it unfolded, read below.
After dominating field position for the opening 25 minutes of the match, it was the Panthers who opened the scoring in the 26th minute through a try to winger Josh Mansour. The try was set up by an outstanding long pass by Jamie Soward following a great catch and line break from Matt Moylan to give the Panthers the attacking opportunity. The kick was waved away and the score remained 4-0.
However, the Panthers lead was short lived with the Roosters scoring just five minutes later to even the scores. The try was scored by Michael Jennings who used his footwork and strength to get passed a number of Panthers’ defenders. James Maloney converted from the sideline to take the Roosters to a 6-4 lead.
The remainder of the half saw the Panthers defend their line strongly, repelling a number of attacking raids from the minor premiers, and with no further scoring in the half, the teams went into halftime separated by just 2 points.
HALFTIME: Panthers 4 Roosters 6
The Roosters extended their lead in the 44th minute through Shaun Kenny-Dowall who used a dummy and then some strength to get past the Panthers left edge defenders and reach out to plant the ball down. Maloney again converted from the sideline to make the score 12-4.
The Panthers were quick to respond with a try of their own in the 52nd minute to narrow the gap. Dean Whare was on the end of a shift play to the Panther’s right hand side and used some good footwork to get over the line for the Panther’s second try of the evening. Soward added the extras, reducing the Roosters’ lead to 12-10.
The scores were levelled just 4 minutes later when the Panthers were awarded a penalty adjacent to the posts. Soward elected to take the two and made no mistake, moving the score to 12-12.
After a number of chances for both sides, it was the Roosters who scored next with Mitchell Pearce stepping his way through the middle of the Panthers defensive line to plant the ball next to the posts. Maloney kicked the goal and the Roosters were again in the lead, moving to 18-12 ahead.
A piece of freakish play from young winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak provided the Panthers with a try in the 77th minute. A short side play saw Soward put in a kick which looked to be too big before Watene-Zelezniak managed to keep it in play and flick it back in to Whare who grounded the ball on the line. Under immense pressure, Soward converted the try and the scores were level again at 18-18.
Then, in the dying seconds, Jamie Soward rose to the challenge once again and nailed a long range field goal to earn the Panthers the week off to prepare for the Preliminary Finals in two weeks.
FINAL SCORE: Panthers 19 Roosters 18