The Penrith Panthers have prevailed in a point scoring shoot out tonight defeating the Brisbane Broncos 35-34 in front of 12,439 supporters at Sportingbet Stadium.
The Panthers came out firing off all cylinders tonight crossing twice in the opening eight minutes with tries to Elijah Taylor and Matt Moylan, giving their team an early 12-0 lead which surely had alarm bells ringing for the visitors.
The pendulum would soon swing the way of the visitors though who would dominate the game for most of the first half. Broncos winger Dale Copley would be the first to score for Brisbane in the 14th minute after backing up a break from Josh Hoffman who burst onto an inside pass from Hodges. Parker nailed the sideline conversion to reduce the deficit to six.
In the 34th minute, Bronco's half Ben Hunt drifted across field showing the ball in one hand before slicing through and throwing a nicely timed pass back on the inside for Hodges to score under the posts. Parker made no mistake with the easy conversion to level the scores at 12 all.
From the ensuing set of six, Brisbane received a penalty and marched downfield for replacement hooker Jake Granville to crash over for an easy try out of dummy half, giving his team what looked to be an 18-12 lead heading into the break.
Penrith had other ideas however and came up with perhaps the try of the night. Moylan stepped off his left foot just short of halfway and offloaded for Jamie Soward who turned on the pace racing downfield before putting on a flick pass for Kevin Naiqama to score n the corner. Soward hit it sweetly from the sideline to level the scores at halftime.
Penrith would open the scoring in the second half through centre Dean Whare who crossed after collecting the scraps from a Soward bomb. Soward, who put on a goal kicking clinic tonight converted to give his team a six point lead in the 48th minute.
Penrith crossed twice more with Naiqama claiming his second in the 54th minute and Lewis Brown crossing in the 60th minute giving Penrith what looked an unassailable 34-18 lead.
The momentum would again swing though with Bronco's centre Jack Reed playing a big hand in his side's comeback, crossing himself in the 66th minute before setting up one for his winger Daniel Vidot with a grubber behind the line in the 71st minute reducing the deficit to just six, setting up a grandstand finish.
It was Corey Oates who completed the comeback in the 79th minute after running onto a short ball from Hunt to score. Parker levelled the scores and the game looked set for golden point, but in one final twist Josh McGuire dropped the ball running it back from the kick off and it was all the opportunity the home team required. Matt Moylan capped off an outstanding game with the match winning field goal.
The win looks to have come at a cost for Penrith with Josh Mansour(ankle) and Tyrone Peachey(pectoral) sustaining injuries.
Next week the Panthers head to Allianz Stadium in a big Saturday afternoon clash with the Roosters while the Broncos will head home to face an in-form Warriors outfit on Saturday night.