The Panthers have qualified for the semi-finals of the Auckland Nines after a dramatic 16-12 Golden Try victory against Manly Sea Eagles courtesy of Tyrone May.

Waqa Blake marked his return to the starting side with a strong run to the line before breaking free of the defence and sprinting away to score a bonus try. Corey Harawira-Naera could only hit the post from right in front as the Panthers took an early five point lead.

Manly were able to hit right back through a bonus try of their own thanks to Brian Kelly after he carried a couple defenders over the line. The conversion was good to give Manly a 7-5 lead at the break.

Manly added to their lead halfway through the second period after a fortunate off-side call and bounce allowed Dylan Walker to stroll through for another bonus point try to stretch out to a seven point lead.

Penrith set up a blockbuster finish as Cleary put Sione Katoa in space for a bonus point try before the halfback slotted over the conversion to level things up.

Manly had the last crack in regulation but couldn’t make it count when a drop goal from 10 metres out sailed wide to send the game in to the first Golden Try period of the tournament after finishing 12-12 after eighteen minutes.

It proved costly as an early Manly error gave the Panthers possession close to their line. Despite holding Akauola up in goal, the Panthers were able to seal victory through Tyrone May on the very next play.