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Young Panthers dominate ladder-leading Roosters

The Penrith Panthers have come off the Jersey Flegg bye in strong form, thumping the Sydney Roosters 34-20 at St Marys Leagues Stadium.

The Panthers forwards laid the platform, allowing the likes of Connor Mason, Ryley Smith and Liam Ison to take full advantage.

The Panthers were first on the board, crossing in the seventh minute when Luke Philp burrowed over from dummy-half in the right corner.

A Panthers error gave the Roosters attacking field position shortly after and they took the lead when Kyron Fekitoa crossed and Hugo Savala converted.

A run of penalties gave the Panthers plenty of attacking chances and they took the lead back when Billy Phillips took a short pass from Mason and crashed over under the posts.

Luck was on the Panthers side when Ison tripped chasing a threatening Roosters bomb, only for the ball to bounce dead. A try-saving chase by Mason on Owen Flaherty minutes later also earnt possession back for the Panthers, before a wild Roosters pass let the Panthers off the hook after an error deep down their own end.

A scuffle late in the half saw Kristian Li-Mai and Alan Holten sin binned, leaving the contest at 12-on-12 for 10 minutes.

The Panthers went on the attack from the ensuing penalty, scoring when Angelis Hotere-Papalii got to a Smith grubber just inside the dead ball line. Sielaff-Burns converted to move the score to 16-6.

Another Smith kick resulted in a Panthers try two minutes later when two Roosters chasers collided, allowing Harrison Hassett to touch down, with Sielaff-Burns converting from a similar position.

A missed penalty goal after the siren left the Panthers lead at 22-6 at the break.

The Panthers forwards followed up a strong first half with a blistering start to the second. Aston Warwick barrelled through the line and raced 50m to score within two minutes of the resumption, before Mason took off from dummy half and set Zac Lipowicz up under the posts.

Lipowicz went close to a second in similar fashion in the 44th minute, however he was narrowly held up.

A run of possession gave the Roosters plenty of attacking chances, however the Panthers scrambling defence saw Fekitoa held up attempting to score his second.

Former Panther Braith Alexander broke through and looked to have set up a try, however Jack Smith knocked on attempting to catch the inside pass.

An intercept by Mason and a desperate ankle tap saw the Panthers continue to deny the Roosters, before they finally scored when Savala dummied and raced through the Panthers line.

The Panthers started to get sloppy late, giving the Roosters more chances off the back of errors and penalties that ultimately saw Vaiala Tamati score two late tries, leaving the final margin at 34-20.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.