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Wests Tigers win see-sawing clash over the Panthers

The Jersey Flegg Panthers lost a nail-biting fixture 20-18 to Wests Tigers on Saturday afternoon at BlueBet Stadium.

The Panthers started off this game in attacking territory, after a penalty in the opening set gave them an early opportunity. The attack looked sharp as they launched a handful of sideline to sideline raids at the Tigers who repelled them for 5 tackles to get the ball back.

Off that first offensive set for the Tigers, Iverson Matai split the Panthers right edge open, dragging them into attacking territory. Penalties and a set restart required the Panthers to hold out set after set before it was third time lucky for Wests Tigers, Solomone Saukuru scoring off a perfectly placed Iverson Matai grubber in the 5th minute. Conversion was unsuccessful, 0-4.

Jaxen Edgar was looking sharp as the Panthers worked their way back into attacking territory, but the team lacked polish on the edges, with repeated errors allowing the Tigers off the hook.

In the 15th minute Matai and Saukuru linked up again, this time Matai throwing a beautiful cut out to Saukuru who ran a hard line, breaking through the Panthers defence before beating Edgar on the outside to score, Conversion unsuccessful, 0-8.

The Panthers hit back in the 24th minute, when a Blake Moore kick was skilfully regathered by Jirah Liddiard, before he offloaded for Manuleleua who only had to find Hotere-Papalii in support on the outside for their first points. Conversion unsuccessful, 4-8.

Manuleleua looked to have another contribution to the stats sheet when he crashed through the middle, but it was called back for obstruction, denying the Panthers a lead taking opportunity.

Right on the half time bell the Panthers finally levelled scoring, Hotere-Papalii finding Liddiard who dived to score in the corner, Conversion unsuccessful, 8-8.

Jaxen Edgar split the Tigers open early in the second to open the scoring, passing inside to Billy Scott for the try. Conversion successful, 14-8.

Iverson Matai once again going at the Panthers right edge created points. Going deep into the line before hitting Sione Vaihu on the lead run who burst straight through to score. Conversion successful, 14-14.

The Panthers reclaimed the lead not long later when Joseph Nohra poked his head through before the offload to Manuleleua put him into space, he found Hotere-Papalii once again who bagged his second. Conversion unsuccessful, 18-14.

With just seven minutes left the Panthers conceded, Chris Faagutu breaking through the middle and powering his way to the line. Conversion successful, 18-20.

With four minutes to go Jaxen Edgar made a break before kicking to his outside, where Nick Murphy comes up with a clean pick up, and with just the fullback in front of him he passed inside to Blackburn who put it down.

The Panthers had one final shot, spreading left to where they had most of their success but an error at the end of the shift capped the game off, Wests Tigers holding on to win 20-18.

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.