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Despite losses in both grades, the Panthers had solid trial match performances in Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup on Saturday afternoon. 


The Penrith Panthers NSW cup side lost their trial on Saturday afternoon at St Mary’s, handed a 22-12 loss at the hands of the North Sydney Bears. Some of the fringe first graders shone, whilst Panthres fans at St Marys got a look at some of the stars of the future. 

The game started in nervous fashion for the Panthers, when the Bears created an overlap down the right hand touchline, but the last pass missed the mark dribbling into touch behind the Bears winger. 

Ill discipline cost Penrith early with multiple penalties being blown in favour of the Bears, two of them from high tackles. 

Off the back of that Nathaniel Roache split the Panthers defence from 40m out, before finding Allan Fitzgibbon in support for the opening points of the game. Conversion successful, 0-6.

Minutes later, Kieran Hayman put up an attacking kick, and Ben Stevanovic came down with the ball to score and extend the Bears lead. Conversion successful, 0-12.

Casey McLean had his first touch of real class when he found himself with the ball on a panicked 5th tackle. The young centre put a grubber kick in behind which he backed up by himself to make the tackle and keep the Bears pinned on their goal line.

New recruit Riley Price was amazing through this period of play, getting heavily involved in the middle with plenty of runs, making 10 metres per carry. He also made a lot of tackles throughout the first half, showing his ability to take on a huge workload. 

Penrith got their first points late in the half when (Penrith 16) crashed over from close range off a short ball from Luke Sommerton. Conversion successful, 6-12. 


It didn’t take long for the Bears to open their second half account, when Ben Stevanovic dummied and went himself, splitting the Panthers defence and not needing any help to get to the line. Conversion unsuccessful, 6-16.

North Sydney would’ve certainly extended the lead if it wasn’t for the efforts of Fullback Isaiah Iongi. He came up with a huge 1-on-1 stop on Harradyn Wilson who made a break, before hustling to the other side of the field to defuse a threatening kick. 

Just minutes later Iongi was making another huge defensive play, when he saved a 40/20 attempt diving to keep the ball in play and then regathering before the Bears kick chase could get to him. 

Another one of Panthers new recruits was making significant contributions with Paul Alamoti making a break down the right hand touchline. He looked inside to his support runner Jesse McLean but they couldn’t connect, McLean putting the pass down and handing back possession. 

A seemingly non-threatening kick turned into points for the Bears, when Stevanovic’ kick was dropped on the Panthers left edge, popping back up into the Bears lap and resulting in more points. Conversion successful, 6-22.

The Bears continued to break the Panthers open, but the effort was on show for all to see when front rower Ativalu Lisati chased down the Bears right side winger, bringing him down 30m out in a valiant effort. 

Alamoti had another nice touch resulting in points late in the half. He wasn’t given much space to move by the Bears defence but he absorbed contact and got a late offload away with (Panthers 17) scoring in the corner. Conversion successful, 12-22.

The final minute saw both teams have a final attempt at scoring. The Panthers put a kick behind straight off a scrum, the Bears recovered and went on the counterattack moving down that right hand touchline yet again and just like the time before, Lisati was there for the cleanup job, making a brilliant cover tackle as the siren sounde.

FULL TIME 12-22.


The Jersey Flegg Panthers suffered a 20-8 loss in their trial on Saturday afternoon at St Marys.

It was a good hit out for both sides who will be looking to be competitive in this season's competition kicking off Saturday March 9.

The game started off competitive, with both teams landing blows in the opening 10 minutes, making it a 4-4 game early. 

The Raiders took control from about the 15th minute mark of the first half, with their forward pack led by Vena Patuki-Case and Jake Clydesdale getting a roll on. 

Canberra scored again just before the 20th minute mark when a loose ball was recovered by their back rower who scored in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful, 4-8.

It looked like the Raiders were over again through Jake Clydesdale, but the big front rower was penalised, handing possession back to the Panthers. 

Not long after that the Raiders did finally extend their lead, with just a couple minutes left in the opening half, thanks to a tough effort spinning through defenders from Vena Patuki-Case. Conversion successful, 4-14 

HALF TIME 4-14. 

The second half couldn’t have started better for the Panthers when a crunching tackle forced an error, the ball bouncing into the lap of Panthers five-eigth, who went the distance. Conversion unsuccessful, 8-14. 

It wasn’t long before Canberra had control of the game again, putting pressure on Penrith's goal line. Some strong defence from the Panthers was a highlight from this period of play.

The pressure eventually resulted in points five minutes later. Conversion successful, 8-20.

A half chance came for Penrith later in the half when Nick Murphy threw a cutout ball to the Panthers winger who had space to move on the sideline. As the cover defence came he put boot to ball and tried to chase it down himself, but the ball rolled into touch just outside of Canberra’s in goal. 

Penrith's defence was resilient to end the game, when multiple repeat sets forced them to dig deep. They held Canberra out to keep the score to 8-20, walking away with plenty of positives to come out of the performance. 


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.