The NYC Panthers triumphed in an epic seesawing encounter against Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday, with the final score 28-26.
The lead changed multiple times throughout the game but a Dylan Edwards penalty goal with five minutes left in the game proved the winning play.
The Panthers opened the scoring after eight minutes after fill-in playmaker Wayde Egan found a nice offload in the tackle to put Corey Waddell over. Edwards knocked the conversion over for a 6-0 lead.
In the 20th minute the Panthers turned defence into attack as Egan pulled in a Titans grubber and ran almost the length of the field to score in the corner. Gold Coast playmaker Josh Ralph put in a valiant chase but couldn’t deny the try. Edwards couldn’t convert from out wide and the score remained 10-0.
The Titans hit back four minutes later as centre David Pritchard was the beneficiary of a missed forward pass and strolled past some attempted tackles to score. Josh Rogers failed to convert, leaving the score 10-4.
Edwards pulled off a stunning try-saver in the 31st minute but it couldn’t stop Pritchard going in for his second try off the next play. The Rogers conversion was on target to lock the game up at 10-10.
An unforced error from Edwards at the back gifted the Titans more attacking possession and they scored again through forward Sam Swift in the 35th minute. The attempted conversion cannoned off the upright but Gold Coast led 14-10.
HALFTIME – Titans 14-10
Panthers winger Ratu Tuisese levelled the contest with a typically athletic one-handed finish in the left corner in the 45th minute. Edwards was wayward with his conversion attempt to leave the scoreboard at 14-14.
Five minutes later they took the lead back as some smart draw-and-pass work from Braidon Burns sent Daniel Brown over in the right corner. Edwards nailed the sideline conversion for a 20-14 scoreline.
The Titans scored their 55th-minute equaliser out of nowhere as they chanced their hand on the fifth tackle. An offload was followed by a deft grubber and another flick pass before hooker Jordan Scott touched down. Rogers converted to lock the game up at 20-20.
A contentious try to Ralph gave the Titans the lead again in the 64th minute, but only after referee Kasey Badger missed a clear knock on in the lead-up.
Burns hit back with a try for the Panthers five minutes later and the conversion from Edwards bounced off the post and over to level the game again.
In the 75th minute the Panthers broke the line through Caleb Aekins and earned themselves a penalty right in front of the posts. Edwards duly slotted it to make it 28-26.
There were a few nervous moments in the final passages of play but the Panthers held on to claim the win.
FULLTIME - Panthers 28-26