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The Penrith Panthers continued their mid-season revival with a heart-stopping 24-22 win over a fast-finishing Sydney Roosters outfit at Wentworth Park.

The win moves the Panthers within a point of competition leaders the Newtown Jets, while the Roosters remain in 12th position.

The Panthers got off to a dream start after just three minutes, converting early territory into points when Eddie Blacker plunged over from close range. With the easy conversion from half Kurt Falls, the visitors led 6-0.

To compound matters for the home side was the loss of hooker Thomas Deakin just minutes later, following a heavy collision with Blacker.

The Roosters began mounting some pressure inside the Panthers’ 20 when a Hugo Savala kick rebounded off opposite number Jack Cole, allowing the Penrith five-eighth to regather and sprint 80 metres to score. The visitors led 12-0 after 18 minutes.

The home side opened their account through Riley Meyn after the back-rower chased through a Joseph Taipari kick, with Jaxson Paulo's conversion successful as the Roosters trailed by six after 24 minutes.

In the 25th minute a wayward pass from the Roosters bounced into the hands of Panthers winger Jesse McLean, who streaked nearly 80 metres to score in the northwest corner and give the visitors a handy 10-point advantage.

Some equally loose play from Penrith inside their own half, culminated with a show and go from Alan Holten close to the line, resulting in a try for the Roosters’ interchange hooker. With Paulo’s conversion the home side trailed by four going into the main break.

From the opening set of the second half Penrith’s Cole latched onto an inside ball to break the line, but despite an ankle tap from Paulo, was still able to offload to Kurt Falls. He found Iongi, who continued the shift right for centre Sam Lane to score in the corner.

Another Penrith error brought the Roosters back into the game when some quick hands enabled centre Tyrell Neiufi to score out wide. Paulo's successful conversion had the home side trailing again by four with 22 minutes remaining.

A Kurt Falls penalty goal in the 63rd minute, after Rooster Coby Thomas was put on report, gave the Panthers some breathing space at 24-18.

Meyn The Roosters hit back in the 70th minute following a last-tackle penalty, when Meyn crossed after some good leadup work from his inside men, Holten and Taipari. But Paulo missed the conversion attempt to leave the Roosters trailing by two.

Talking points

The Roosters lost hooker Thomas Deakin early in the game following a heavy collision with Panthers prop Eddie Blacker.

The home side also have a nervous wait with the Match Review Committee after Tayson Fakaosi (49th minute) and Coby Thomas (63rd minute) were both placed on report.

The 24-22 win is Penrith’s fifth in succession as they now look to next week’s top-four clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Key moment

The Panthers caught their opposition off guard when opted to throw the ball inside their own half in the opening set of the second half. That put Jack Cole into clear space before he regained footing to find Falls in support, combining with fullback Isaiah Iongi to put centre Sam Lane over in the corner.

Falls’ conversion from near the touchline proved to be the difference in Penrith’s tight 24-22 win over the Roosters.

Match Report provided by NSW Rugby League. 

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.