A brave Panthers outfit have been eliminated from the Finals after a clinical Broncos performance scored a 13-6 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
The Panthers had to contend with injuries to key personnel at critical stages of the game and weren’t able to crack a stubborn Broncos defence for large periods as they slumped to a frustrating defeat.
The home side made the stronger start and found a breakthrough in the 8th minute when Corey Oates broke the line and rounded Dylan Edwards to touch down in the corner. Jordan Kahu’s conversion was shanked wide, keeping the score at 4-0.
A knock on from Sam Thaiday was mistakenly ruled to be a strip and carried the Broncos in to Panthers territory to add to their lead via a Kahu penalty goal in the 14th minute.
A pair of collisions cost both sides key players midway through the half when Peter Wallace and Oates came from the field after sickening head knocks.
The rest of the half played out like a battle with both sides throwing everything in their armoury at the opposition to no avail. The Panthers went closest through Reagan Campbell-Gillard’s rampaging effort that fell just short, while the Broncos could’ve extended their lead but for a David Mead knock-on.
HALF-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 6 – 0 Penrith Panthers
A knock-on from the Broncos was again ruled to have been stripped, presenting Kahu the chance to push his side out to beyond a converted try but his effort in the 44th minute was pushed wide.
Instead they would extend their lead courtesy of a James Roberts try just moments later after Kodi Nikorima put his centre in space and he would do the rest by blowing past Tyrone Peachey. Kahu made no mistake with the conversion this time around to make the score 12-0.
An ill-disciplined response from the Panthers was halted by Campbell-Gillard in the 64th minute who did what he couldn’t in the first half by putting the finishing move on a line break. Nathan Cleary’s conversion brought his side back to within a converted try at 12-6.
The Panthers were finding decisions difficult to come by with a Kahu knock-on once again missed by the officials, leading to the winger’s field goal with ten minutes left on the clock to make it 13-6.
That would put the Broncos out to an unassailable lead despite the late efforts of the Panthers to keep their season alive but the curtains would eventually come down on their campaign.
FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 13 – 6 Penrith Panthers