Despite scoring six tries to five, the SG Ball Panthers have fallen 30-28 to Canberra Raiders at St Marys Stadium on Saturday.
After a last-gasp lost last week, it was another devastating result for Penrith, who were brave in defeat.
An early penalty helped Canberra upfield and they immediately hit the front as Manase Kaho sliced through after the Panthers were caught outnumbered on the left edge.
Penrith hit back, albeit in unconventional fashion, when Ryan Eisenhuth stripped the ball from Canberra’s grasps and fell over the try line after chasing a rushed grubber to the corner.
They extended their lead moments later when centre Sunia Turuva muscled his way over out wide. Fullback Bailey Hughes converted the try to give Penrith a four-point lead.
Hughes then turned try scorer shortly after when he steamed onto a Canberra chip kick and surged through the middle before racing away to dive over in the corner.
Not everything went Penrith’s way though, with Canberra’s last-tackle kick rebounding off the padding and into the hands of five-eighth Brayden Robertson. The successful conversion saw them reduce the deficit to two points.
And a fumble in-goal from Connor Mason was pounced on by Raiders halfback Jordan Williams to hand them a four-point lead at the break.
HALF-TIME: Panthers 14 Raiders 18
After finishing the first half with all the running, Canberra carried their momentum into the second half, threatening to break the game open.
But an intercept from Immanuel Tagalomatua brought the Panthers into Canberra territory and a penalty then presented them with a perfect opportunity to hit back.
An error saw them quickly squander that chance, however they redeemed themselves minutes later when Sadee Sub Laban dummied and darted through a hole before sliding over next to the posts.
Penrith were just as determined in defence, with Hughes showing great strength to hold up a barging Jack Williams.
They then surged ahead off back-to-back penalties, a lovely offload from Ezra Coulston sending winger Jeremy Stowers over in the corner.
A try to hooker Mitchell Souter saw the Raiders regain the lead but it was short-lived as the dynamic Turuva stormed down the right edge to score his second of the afternoon. Mason’s conversion was successful and Penrith led 28-24 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Benjamin Farr was impressive in cover defence, shutting down a runaway Cooper O’Connor before again having a hand in bringing down a rampaging Jack Williams.
But the Panthers could do little as Jordan Williams charged down a Penrith grubber and sprinted away to score under the posts in what proved the match-winning try.
FULL-TIME: Panthers 28 Raiders 30