Garth Brennan’s NSW Cup side has lost a scrappy battle against the Wests Tigers in their trial match at Windsor this evening, going down 22-8.
It was a very slow start to the match with handling errors and penalties repeatedly slowing the game down. Penrith had a couple of chances to score but couldn’t follow through with anything. The earlier wet weather and occasional shower throughout the match made it a little slippery on the field, which didn’t help.
It was 25 minutes before the first points of the game were scored, and it was the Tigers who crossed first. After repeated attempts up their end, they had finally worn the Panthers defence down enough for their #13 to find a hole and sprint through, getting the ball down next to the posts. The kick from in front was successful, so they took a 6-0 lead.
They backed that up a couple of minutes later after some quick passes to the right wing saw their #4 duck and weave around a few of our defenders to dive over the line near the corner post. The conversion was short, so the score went to 10-0.
Just when it was looking like a bit of a one sided affair, the Panthers scored their first try of the game in the final minute of the half. After being awarded a penalty on the left sideline, we spread the ball wide until it got to Ratu Luke Nadurutalo on the right wing, and he dived over to score. The kick was waved away so the score went to 10-4 as the half time siren sounded.
HALF TIME: 10-4 Wests Tigers
The Tigers scored first this half after spreading our defence wide in the centre and sending #16 through a gap right in front of the posts. The successful conversion took the score to 16-4.
It was another 20 minutes of to-and-fro ball play before another point was scored, and this time it was the persistence of the Panthers that paid off. Jarrod Brackenhofer put a beautiful chip kick over to the left wing where Tala Mapesone was able to leap into the air, grab the ball and plant it in-goal. The conversion was wide so the score went to 16-8 with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The Tigers sealed the win with 7 minutes remaining when they scored the final try of the match, breaking through Penrith’s defence and sending their #12 sprinting down the field to run in unopposed. With the conversion, the Tigers extended their lead to 22-8.
FULL TIME: 22-8 Wests Tigers