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Competition - NSWRL SG Ball Grand Final Penrith Panthers v Illawarra Steelers - Saturday 7 May 2016, Pepper Stadium, Penrith NSW - Photographer Shane Myers ©

The Panthers SG Ball side are officially the best under-18s team in the country after defeating Townsville Blackhawks 38-28 in Brisbane.

The young Panthers, who last week won the NSW competition, opened the scoring against the Queensland champions through captain Sean O'Sullivan.

The Blackhawks soon hit back but the Panthers re-took the lead courtesy of a try to winger Jake Tago.

Billy Leniu was next to cross the chalk for the Panthers, before Tago grabbed his second and helped give the Panthers a 24-10 lead at the break.

Townsville closed to within two points early in the second half but the Panthers pulled away through tries to Brian Too and William Burns.

Despite conceding a late try, the Panthers held on for victory and claimed the national junior title.

Dummy-half Treymaine Brown was awarded Man Of The Match honours after a solid year for the Panthers.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.