Penrith Panthers have fallen short, going down 18-16 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium on Thursday night.
Off the back of a line drop out, the Rabbitohs were within 20 meters from the try line. A set play from the home team saw the ball shifted out to the left sending winger Tom Carr over in the corner.
Fullback Blake Taaffe successfully kicked the opening conversion, taking the score to 6-0.
A penalty was awarded to the Rabbitohs 10 metres out from the posts. The penalty goal from Taaffe from right in front of the posts was successful, extending the Rabbitohs lead out to eight points.
Panthers five-eighth Jack Cole found space within the Rabbitohs defensive line and raced 20 metres downfield before passing the ball back on his inside shoulder for centre Matt Stimson to score.
Cole’s conversion was waved away leaving the score at 8-4.
South Sydney extended their lead in the 29th minute with prop Brock Gray crashing over the line to score directly underneath the posts.
Taaffe added the two points taking the score out to 14-4.
The remaining 11 minutes of the first half saw both teams play set for set football however neither side was able to add points before heading into the break.
HALF TIME: RABBIOTHS 14 – PANTHERS 4
The Panthers hit back early in the first half with the visitors creating an overlap over on the right edge to send winger Tom Jenkins over in the corner.
Cole’s conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score at 14-8.
Penrith went back-to-back, with Cole throwing a cut out pass to winger Daeon Amituanai who dived over in the corner.
Kurt Falls first conversion attempt was unsuccessful leaving his team trailing by two points.
Centre Jesse McLean put the Panthers out in front after scoring off the back of a perfectly weighted kick from Falls.
The conversion from Cole was unsuccessful leaving the score at 16-14.
The Rabbitohs tested the Panthers in attack however a strong defensive effort from Penrith saw the visitors denied.
A 40-20 within the final two minutes gifted the Rabbitohs with the perfect field position to regain the lead before full time.
A professional foul from Eddie Blacker saw the Penrith prop sent to the bin for the remainder of the game.
South Sydney capitalised off their opposition being a man down, quickly shifting the ball out to the right for winger Cody Hodge to score.
Taaffe’s final conversion of the night was unsuccessful.
FULL TIME: RABBITOHS 18 – PANTHERS 16