The Panthers Under 20’s boys have overcome a horror start to beat the Titans 36-24 today at Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast.
It was a horror start for Penrith who let the ball go dead from the kickoff, handing possession straight back to the home side. They took full advantage and won a penalty on the 4th tackle when they were less than a metre out from their line, giving them another set of 6 from 10m out. They sent the ball left and drew our defenders in, which gave winger Rory Humphreys plenty of room to move up the sideline and dive over to score. The kick was waved away, so the Titans took an early 4-0 lead.
But the Panthers quickly got their heads back in the game and hit back with a try of their own in the 9th minute. After being awarded a penalty 40m out from our goal line, we gained a few metres with the 40-20 kick and then ran the ball up to our line where Stanton Albert managed to barge his way over and get the ball down, dragging a few defenders over the line with him! Corey Harawira-Naera made the conversion to put Penrith in front 6-4.
We almost had our second try 5 minutes later when Soni Luke attempted a grubber kick from a few metres out before scooping the ball up and diving over the line, but the video replay showed his foot failed to make contact with the ball when he kicked, so it was play on.
The Gold Coast were next to put points on the board after hooker Delayne Ashby broke through our backline and ran 20m before being brought down centimetres from his line. The ball was sent from dummy half to big prop Oshae Tuiasau, and thanks to a big hole in our defence he ran straight over the line to score. This time the kick was on target so the home side were in front 10-6.
Penrith hooker Tyrone May put the Panthers back in front in the 25th minute after a great set of six that got us within striking distance of our line. May collected the ball from a couple of metres out and dived over the top of a few Titans defenders to get the ball down. Harawira-Naera added the extra two, taking the score to 12-10.
We extended our lead at the 30 minute mark after a blistering run from Harawira-Naera who broke through the Gold Coast’s defence and sprinted 20m before dragging several Titans defenders over the line with him. He converted his own try to put Penrith in front 18-10.
With 10 seconds until the half time break the Titans scored after their hooker broke through our defence again and took off down the field before being brought down 10m out. They drew our defenders off their marks on the left wing and sent the ball out to Jed Cartwright who was unmarked on the sideline, and he dived over to score. The kick missed so the score went to 18-14.
HALF TIME: 18-14 PANTHERS
The Panthers opened the scoring in the first minute of this half thanks to a Gold Coast ball fumble which gave us possession half way through their opening set, 20m out from our line. After sending the ball to the left, winger Fuimanu Enise made sure he had plenty of room to move on the sideline and collected the ball a few metres out before diving over just inside the corner post. The kick was waved away, so the score went to 22-14.
Three minutes later, Enise was in again! Powerful centre Christian Crichton collected a pass from 30m out and broke through three separate tackles and sprinted towards our line before offloading to Enise who carried the ball the rest of the way. The kick drifted off target so Penrith’s lead blew out to 26-14.
The home side scored their next try in the 55th minute after a penalty gave them a fresh set of six, 20m out from their line, and Jed Cartwright found managed to dodge and weave between a few Panthers players to dive over and score. With the conversion, they narrowed the score to 26-20.
They backed that up with another try three minutes later after Cartwright managed an offload to Humphreys who was unmarked, and he sprinted up the sideline before flicking the ball inside to Daniel Schwass who dived over to score. The kick was just off target so the score line went to 26-24.
The next 10 minutes of play bounced from one end of the field to the other before Penrith finally broke through and scored. A line break from Harawira-Naera saw him make 40m before being taken down. After a couple more tackles, Maliko Filino picked the ball up from dummy half and dived under a bunch of Titans defenders to get the ball over the line. Dylan Edwards took the kick but was slightly off target, extending our lead to 30-24.
With 4 minutes on the clock Penrith sealed the win with a try to big Moses Leota who barged his way over next to the uprights! Edwards’ conversion sailed straight through the posts, taking the final score to 36-24.
FULL TIME: 36-24 PANTHERS