The Panthers have come away with a nail biting 26-18 win over the Roosters this afternoon, even after giving up an early lead to the home side and then staging a comeback in the final 15 minutes of the match.
We got off to a bit of a shaky start when the Roosters regained possession after the kick on the 5th in one of their opening sets, and they were given another 6 tackles to make their way towards their line. They were then awarded three back-to-back penalties, putting the Penrith defence under immense pressure. Despite repeated attempts at their line, our defence held strong and it was our set.
We made the most of our time with the ball and after some brilliant runs up the centre of the field, the Panthers put the first points on the board! It came courtesy of centre Jack Nelson, who broke through a tackle before being brought down 10m out from our line. He was then on the receiving end of a perfectly timed pass towards the sideline, and he barged his way over to get the ball down. The kick was waved away, so we took a 4-0 lead, 10 minutes into the game.
It was another 15 minutes before the second try was scored, and again it was Penrith who crossed for the points. After spreading the ball wide, Christian Crichton came under some intense pressure from the Roosters defence just a few metres out from our line, so he flicked the ball to Josh Jay on the wing and after a quick juggle in the air, he regathered it and then dived over the line to score. The kick was off target again, so the score went to 8-0.
The Roosters had a couple of chances to put points on the board in the final 10 minutes of this half, but just as they looked like they would cross their line, they dropped of fumbled the ball and handed possession back to Penrith.
HALF TIME: 8-0 Panthers
In what was shaping up to be quite a fiery affair between these two sides, the Roosters made the most of some sloppy Panthers defence, and Charlie Taylor found a big enough gap in our backline to dive over and score. There was a little scuffle on the sideline with almost every player on the field involved, but once it was all sorted out the try was awarded. The kick went straight through the uprights and the score went to 8-6.
Penrith dropped the ball on the kickoff and the home side took full advantage. After making their way up to their line in their first set, their big #15 barged his way over, right under the posts. The kick sailed straight through to put them in front 12-8, in the 55th minute.
It was at this point that the game changed significantly, and in the space of 15 minutes the Roosters had taken control and had scored their third try. It was #8 who added the points to their total, and with the successful conversion, the home side extended their lead to 18-8, with just over 21 minutes remaining.
But the Panthers weren’t giving up without a fight and in the 65th minute Tyrone May smashed his way through a group of Roosters defenders to get the ball down next to the posts. This time the kick was on target, so the score went to 18-14.
A few minutes later we were over again after Braidon Burns leapt into the air and caught a beautiful chip kick from the middle of the park, and came crashing down over the top of a couple of defenders to plant the ball down over the line. The conversion was unsuccessful, so the scores drew level at 18-18, with 11 minutes to go.
And in the next set we crossed for our third unanswered try after the Roosters winger fumbled the ball a metre out from our try line, and Burns scooped it up and planted it down for the points! Again, the kick was waved away, so Penrith took a 22-18 lead with 8 minutes on the clock.
Christian Crichton put the icing on the cake in the 75th minute after some brilliant blind side play on our wing; he found some space, collected the ball and ran straight over the line! The conversion was off target once again, so the score went to 26-18, and Penrith went home with the win!
FULL TIME: 26-18 Panthers