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Panthers NSW Cup suffer first loss

The Penrith Panthers NSW cup suffered their first loss of the season, going down to the Bulldogs 12-30 on Friday afternoon at Bluebet stadium. 

The Panthers had all the favours early, with Kitione Kautoga binned for a late shot on Brad Schneider in the third minute, before Sexton was binned just two minutes later for repeated penalties. 

With 13 on 11 the Panthers shifted early and it took a great defensive effort from the Bulldogs to hold Jesse McLean out, who tried to find a late pass but it was put down by Tyrone Peachey to hand the Dogs possession inside their own 10 metre mark. 

In the tenth minute, Luron Patea steamed onto a loose ball to poke his nose through the line, finding Tyrone Peachey in support but he was cut down. Daine Laurie rolled off the back and put a kick and chase in for himself, and tackled Joash Papalii to force a repeat set. 

The Bulldogs survived the ten minutes with two men in the bin, holding the majority of the ball in that period and ending it inside the Panthers half. Kitione Kautoga just one minute back from the sin bin drove through the Panthers line to score. Conversion successful, 0-6.

Kitione Kautoga ran over once again, carrying three panthers defenders with him off a Toby Sexton crash ball to score. Conversion successful, 0-12.

The points continued to pile on in the 29th minute, when the Bulldogs shifted left through the hands of Fuz, Papalii and then to Skelton who had no one stopping him from getting to the line. Conversion successful, 0-18. 

Jake Turpin made a break off the very next set and it looked like the Bulldogs were going to go in again but Isaiah Iongi, reliable as ever, came up with a great 1-on-1 tackle. 

The Panthers found their first points right on the half time buzzer, a well timed backline movement finding Peachey who executed the 2-on-1 to send Jesse McLean over for his fifth try in the last three games. Conversion successful, 6-18.

Toelau parted the Bulldogs defence early in the second half, going straight through the middle with a show and go to score under the sticks, cutting the deficit to six. Conversion successful, 12-18.

The Bulldogs looked like they were about to stop the comeback, with Romano Cook finding Zane Tetevano who fell over the line, but lost it on the way down. The Panthers turned it around and Soni Luke looked dangerous, weaving between defenders but while looking for a support runner threw an intercept. 

Jesse McLean was the target of multiple attacking kicks in throughout the night but did an amazing job under pressure. 

This time the Bulldogs did stop the Panthers momentum. Started by Kitione Kautoga and Joash Papalii linking up for a break. A left to right shift found Perham, who beat his opposite man before finding Wilson who still had some work to do before barging over the cover defence and slamming the ball down in the corner. Conversion successful, 12-24. 

The right edge for the Bulldogs went again, Fuz and Papalii combining to put Wilson through, who kicked inside for Sexton who finished in brilliant fashion. Conversion successful, 12-30.

The game went into a holding pattern for the next ten minutes, the Panthers struggling to fire a shot, whilst the Bulldogs kicked to corners and put this game away. 

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.