The Panthers Under 20’s have given up a 12 point lead to go down to the Titans 36-26 at Carrington Park in Bathurst today.
Penrith’s youngsters started strongly in the first half and looked certain to continue that form heading into the second, but struggled to maintain their composure and allowed the Gold Coast to run all over them.
Here’s how the match played out.
The Panthers were first to score in the 10th minute when Fuimanu Enese dodged several Titans defenders on his dash up the sideline to score, after catching a bullet cut-out pass from the inside. Soni Luke missed the conversion so the Panthers took a 4-0 lead.
The Gold Coast answered back soon after with Jed Cartwright barging past Penrith defenders to slam the ball down from close range. Brayden Torpy’s kick was waved away, so the score was tied 4-4.
The Panthers took the lead again when Josh Jay dived over to score in the 26th minute. He fell awkwardly on his shoulder while scoring the try and he was helped off the field by the trainer. Dylan Edwards took the kick this time but missed, so the Panthers went to 8-4.
Penrith extended their lead in the 33rd minute when Kaide Ellis reached over to score underneath the posts to set up the easy conversion for Penrith. The extra two put the home side ahead 14-4.
Just before the half time break, the Titans crossed again through Zac Spring. Torpy’s conversion was unsuccessful, so the score went to 14-8.
HALF TIME: 14-8 PANTHERS.
Penrith opened the scoring this half when Paea Pua forced his way through the Gold Coast’s defence In the 48th minute. Edwards converted to put us further in front 20-8.
But then we got a little complacent and the Titans made the most of a few lazy Panthers mistakes. Nathan Watts broke through our defence and ran on to a short pass before storming into the in goal to plant the ball down with Penrith defenders hanging on. Delayne Ashby converted to narrow the score to 20-14.
Watts crossed for his second try a few minutes later when he escaped a few Panthers defenders in his race to the line. The conversion from Ashby levelled the score 20-20.
The Titans took the lead for the first time in the game when Karl Lawton burrowed his way to score in the 66th minute. Ashby’s conversion was successful and the Titans were out in front 26-20.
Gold Coast pushed even further ahead in the 71st minute after an interception close to their try line which led to Jed Cartwright sprinting his way over to score later in the set. The conversion was unsuccessful and the Gold Coast were out to 30-20.
They were over again 2 minutes later when Karl Lawton caught a chip kick to plant the ball down next to the posts. Deacon Fletcher kicked the conversion and the score went to 36-20.
The Panthers managed one last try in the final minute of the match, when Tyrone May dived over to score after catching a short pass on the inside. Edwards converted but it was too little too late, and the Gold Coast went home with the win.
FULL-TIME: 36-26 TITANS.