The NYC Panthers were left to rue missed opportunities despite fighting back to snatch a late 16-all draw with South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
A try to Brian Too levelled the scores at the death, however the boot of Dean Blore couldn't wrap up the victory as the Panthers walked away with one competition point.
A penalty to Souths placed them in prime attacking position to open the scoring in the 9th minute through winger Jalen Reweti. An overlap on the left edge afforded the winger space to dive over in the corner, before Dean Hawkins converted from the sideline to make it 6-0.
The Panthers would strike back midway through the half thanks to a darting run from Ray Maroun. A quick play the ball allowed the hooker to catch the defence flat footed and race through to the try line from dummy half. Dean Blore’s successful conversion levelled the scores at 6-all.
The Rabbitohs would regain the lead with five minutes left in the half thanks to Dylan O’Connor. Play shifted to the right edge and found the centre in space to run around his man and reach out to score. Hawkins' conversion sailed wide keeping the score at 10-6.
HALF-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 – 6 Penrith Panthers
The Panthers moved quickly to get back in the contest and were level three minutes after the restart thanks to the crafty hands of Mose Feilo. A stretched Souths defence allowed the centre to go close to scoring before releasing an arm to offload to Daniel Brown in support to crash over. Blore landed his sideline conversion to edge his side ahead 12-10.
The see-sawing affair continued in the 50th minute with Souths reclaiming the lead through Mawene Hiroti. A strong carry to the line allowed the centre to brush off the defence and plant the ball over in the corner. Hawkins’ conversion pushed the score out to 16-12.
Errors and desperation crept in to the Panthers game as they looked to chase down the home side, but finally had their reward with three minutes on the clock remaining thanks to Brian Too. A length of the field run from Brown had the Souths defence retreating, allowing the winger to go over on the next play. Blore’s attempted match winner sailed wide, keeping the scores locked at 16-all.
Two late efforts at goal from Blore were smothered by a desperate Souths defence to keep the scores tied as the Panthers leapfrogged their way into second on the ladder.
FULL-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 – 16 Penrith Panthers