Penrith Panthers have gone down to the Canberra Raiders 34-12 in the NSW Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Without a number of regulars in the side, who were on standby for the NRL side, Panthers coach Peter Wallace fielded a new-look line-up for the clash in the nation’s capital.
The Raiders scored six tries to two to record a 22-point victory in Round 14.
It wasn’t the start the Panthers were hoping for with Raiders winger Elijah Anderson scoring in the opening minute of the game.
Fresh from inking a new deal with Panthers earlier in the week, talented outside back Sunia Turuva was first to cross for the visitors, and Niwhai Puru landed the conversion for a 6-4 lead.
However, the Raiders re-took a four-point lead after Ata Mariota scored in the 18th minute and Brad Schneider had no problems with adding the extras.
The home side extended their lead to 10 points after 28 minutes through a try to Albert Hopoate and successful Schneider conversion.
Another Canberra try to Rayden Burns on the stroke of half-time gave the Raiders a healthy lead at the break.
HALF-TIME: PANTHERS 6 – RAIDERS 22
The Panthers had the perfect start to the second half with Turuva scoring his second try of the afternoon and Puru adding the extras to reduce the deficit to 10 points.
But just as the Panthers were gaining momentum, the Raiders went up the other end and Hopoate also had his second try – extending Canberra’s lead to 28-12 with half an hour left.
A late try to Raider Clay Webb sealed the result for the home side.
FULL-TIME: PANTHERS 12 – RAIDERS 34