Young Panthers rolled by Roosters

The Jersey Flegg Panthers rued missed opportunities in a 24-14 loss to Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium on Sunday.

Penrith surrendered an early 10-2 lead and were unable to recover despite a flurry of chances late in the second half.

Five-eighth Matt Burton continued his strong form with another polished performance, having a hand in two tries.

But at times the passes just weren’t sticking as they fell to a 10-point loss. 

Penalties saw the Panthers put under pressure early and the Roosters opted for the two points.

But a mistake off the restart handed possession right back to Penrith and they capitalised straight away.

Spreading the ball right, Charlie Staines put Glenn McGrady in space and the centre offloaded for Thomas Lofts who dived over in the corner.

The attempted conversion from Brendan Hands was waved away.

The Panthers then went the length of the field to score again, this time an offload back inside from five-eighth Burton to Staines ended with Ryan Pritchard slicing over.

Hands sent it through the posts to extend the lead to eight points.

An error shortly after the kick-off gave the ball straight back to Easts who quickly went over through hooker Freddy Lussick.

It took another 15 minutes but Lussick was back at it again, fooling the Panthers defence as he skipped out of dummy-half to scoot over and score.

Both conversions from Zane Harris were successful, pushing the Roosters’ lead out to four.

A left-side spread then saw Penrith caught short of numbers as Bayleigh Bentley-Hape crossed in the corner.

Harris couldn’t nail the kick from the sideline, leaving the difference at eight points heading into the sheds.

HALF-TIME: Panthers 10 Roosters 18

The Roosters pushed further ahead early in the second half when McKenzie Baker chased his own kick, showing determination to squeeze past two Panthers defenders and score.

Harris slotted the goal.

The Panthers eventually hit back after a break from Burton gave them a rare opportunity inside the opposition twenty.

Burton then swept around on the right edge and shoved it onto McGrady who crashed over in the corner.

Hands’ conversion from the sideline hit the posts, leaving the score at 24-14 with 20 to go.

It seemed to spark Penrith into life as they started finding holes in the Roosters middle but they couldn’t convert it into points, unable to work their way back into the contest.

FULL-TIME: Panthers 14 Roosters 24