In very wet and soggy conditions in Penrith, the Panthers have put in a solid performance to beat the Tigers 12-10 in a tough NSW Cup match at Pepper Stadium.
The wet weather meant today’s match wasn’t the most exciting game, but there were surprisingly few errors or handling mistakes, and both sides were quite tidy with their sets.
We watched 22 minutes of ping pong football before the first points were scored. After being awarded a penalty just inside the 10m line, the Panthers spread the ball to the left before Nu’u Akeripa barged his way through the Tigers defensive line and dived over to score. Will Smith’s conversion was slightly off target, so the home side took a 4-0 lead.
The next try came in the 36th minute and again, it was Nu’u Akeripa who scored after breaking through the Tigers backline 30m out from their line, and sprinting 70m past several defenders to run the ball in behind the posts. Isaac John took the kick this time and added the extra two, putting the Panthers in front 10-0.
HALF TIME: 10-0 Panthers
We didn’t get off to the most ideal start in this half with the Tigers scoring in the second minute of play, after they spread our defence wide on the wing and sent centre Chance Peni through a hole and over the line to score. The kick was waved away so the score went to 10-4.
The game got a little messy for the next 18 minutes with a couple of dropped balls and kicking errors that resulted in a few turnovers.
The Tigers scored again in the 60th minute after being awarded a penalty on their 10m line, and Josh Drinkwater put a grubber kick in on the 6th which sat up beautifully for fullback Shannon McDonnell to run onto and score. The conversion levelled the score at 10-10.
Penrith were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute after Robert Jennings copped a swinging arm in a tackle after he’d made a break for it and sprinted 30m down the field towards our try line. Will Smith took the kick for two from 20m out to put us out in front 12-10.
With less than 2 minutes until the full time siren the Tigers fumbled the ball over the sideline, giving Penrith possession for the final set of the game, and ultimately handing us the win!
FULL TIME: 12-10 Panthers