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Jersey Flegg Panthers downed by Wests Tigers

The Penrith Panthers have suffered their first Jersey Flegg loss in two months, falling 28-20 to the Wests Tigers on a chilly afternoon at Leichhardt Oval.

The Panthers lost Connor Mason to injury in the opening ten minutes, but managed to lead 10-4 at half time before being overrun in the second half.

The Panthers found themselves under pressure early, forced into defending back-to-back sets on their own line. They cracked in the third set, conceding a try in their left-hand corner to Harrison Henson.

It didn’t take long for the Panthers to hit back, with a perfect cut-out pass in the 12th minute setting up Timothy Sielaff-Burns to get one back over his opposite number. He also converted the try, putting the Panthers in front for the first time.

The Panthers came close to extending the lead shortly after, however they were denied when Liam Ison knocked on.

The Tigers had an opportunity down the other end when Zane Camroux made a break, only for Sione Vaihu to lose drop his pass.

A perfectly weighted grubber by Ison in the 25th minute allowed Sielaff-Burns to win the race to the ball just inside the dead ball line, pushing the Panthers lead out to 10-4.

The Panthers held onto the lead into half time, despite the Tigers coming close to scoring in the frantic final seconds of the half.

The Tigers started the second half the stronger of the two teams, eventually scoring in the 45th when Josh Feledy burrowed his way over the line. Camroux converted via the upright, locking the scores at 10-all.

A penalty in the following set put the Panthers under pressure again and the Tigers took back the lead, shifting to Jay Kirk to score in the left-hand corner. Camroux converted again to push the score to 16-10.

The Panthers needed to make a statement after conceding two quick tries and they did exactly that, forcing the Tigers into touch off the kick-off. A shift to the left in the ensuing set saw Angelis Hotere-Papalii cross out wide, before Sielaff-Burns’ conversion attempt narrowly drifted across the face to leave the Panthers trailing by two.

An error in the set following points immediately put the Panthers under pressure again and they were made to pay when Christopher Faagutu crossed. Camroux converted to push the score to 22-14.

The Tigers put the result beyond doubt with 10 minutes remaining, with Camroux dummying his way through for a converted try to make the score 28-14.

Ryley Smith backed up an offload to add a consolation try in the dying minutes, however it was too little, too late as the Panthers fell short, 28-20.

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.