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NSW Cup Panthers fall to Dragons

The NSW Cup Panthers went down in a tough loss to the fifth placed Dragons at BlueBet on Saturday afternoon. 

The front row of the Dragons linked up to score first, Alec Tuitavake finding Joshua Coric with an offload before Coric muscled his way to the line and got the ball down. Conversion successful, 0-6.

In similar fashion to the earlier Jersey Flegg game, the Dragons quickly got out to a two try lead, the backline combining before Tamale finished it off with a slick pass to put Ravalawa into space, he steamrolled Iongi who came across in cover defence to score. Conversion unsuccessful, 0-10.

The Panthers got control of the game through the next ten minutes, but multiple sets on the Dragons line didn’t earn a reward. The Dragons earned a couple penalties after this period, but with their own line tested, the Panthers held strong, holding the Dragons out to prevent them from extending their lead. 

That was until the Dragons left edge lit up, Steelers SG ball duo Lykhan King-Togia and Hayden Buchanan linking up in their first game this year, before Buchanan got it to Christian Tuipulotu for his sixth try of the year. Conversion unsuccessful, 0-14.

A crash play right before the end of the half made it a 20 point lead for the Dragons, Tom Freebairn powering his way to the line. Conversion successful, 0-20.

The second half started off an error-fest, both teams failing to complete their first sets. The game went into an arm wrestle for the next ten minutes with neither team having a genuine attacking opportunity. 

Ravalawa set up the first points of the second half, getting put into space by Jonah Glover and Benjamin Johnson before kicking inside and landing it on a dime for Glover to score. Conversion successful, 0-26.

The Panthers finally crossed in the 55th minute. Billy Scott was narrowly held up over the line, before two plays later he was the one to set up Jordan Grant with a crash play to score their first points. Conversion successful, 6-26.

In the 63rd minute, Harrison Hassett had a try, Zack Lamont putting a grubber kick in behind which sat up perfectly and cut into the deficit. Conversion unsuccessful, 10-26.

Hope for a late comeback was extinguished with six minutes to go, after repeat sets on the Dragons line didn’t result in points, and finally the Dragons managed to get the ball back off a miscued kick. 

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.