A late field goal condemned the ISP Panthers to a 13-12 defeat against Wentworthville Magpies at Pepper Stadium on Saturday.
Back-to-back tries from the Panthers in the second half wasn't enough as an error-riddled display saw the home side come up short.
A penalty-laden opening to the match put the Panthers on the front foot from the outset but they found clear chances to score hard to come by. Their only opportunity fell to the hands of Viliame Kikau who forced his way over the line but couldn’t maintain possession.
A rare foray forward for the Magpies looked to have produced the first points of the game through Will Smith but a last-ditch swipe at the ball from Darren Nicholls forced an error and let the Panthers off the hook.
The Magpies made no mistake on their next opportunity when Cody Nelson crossed over on the half hour mark. Centre Nathan Davis broke free of the defence on the left edge before finding his captain on the inside. Jamal Fogarty made the conversion to give the Magpies a 6-0 lead.
HALF TIME: Penrith Panthers 0 – 6 Wentworthville Magpies
The Magpies started brightly after the restart and had their second try five minutes in through Bureta Faraimo. The winger forced his way over in the corner before Fogarty slotted the sideline conversion to push the score out to 12-0 in favour of the visitors.
The Panthers continued to probe the Magpies line in search of their first points and finally found a way through after 65 minutes. A well-timed short ball from Mitch Rein put Jack Hetherington through a gap close to the line. Nicholls’ conversion was successful to bring his side back to within a converted try.
They were level less than ten minutes later when Kikau broke through next to the posts and Nicholls slotted the simple conversion to set up a tense final five minutes.
Two field goals from Tyrone May were unsuccessful before Troy Dargan stepped up to sink the decisive field goal for the Magpies.
FULL TIME: Penrith Panthers 12 – 13 Wentworthville Magpies