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Unbelieveable finish to an action packed game at Penrith Stadium, with the Panthers just holding out the Dragons by 30-26.
Right from the word go this game was filled with fast packed action, more than some fans could take. Both teams had chances and bombed them. Both teams cut up the defence like a hot knife in butter.
Half time had the Panthers ahead by 12 - 10, but the 2nd half was just non stop action for the full 40 minutes.
The Panthers seemingly had the game sown up with a pretty comfortable of 26-14 midway through the second half, with the Dragons a little guilty of slacking off and the Panthers pack brimming with confidence.
But once again, never under estimate a wounded Dragon. And charging back at the Penrith side is exactly what they did. Right to the dying seconds of the game, the Dragons pounded the Panthers' defence, but to their credit, the Panthers held in there. Another exciting finish in the NRL competition.
Leagueunlimited players of the match:
3 - P Campbell (Panthers) 2 - S Sattler (Panthers) 1 - C Gower (Panthers)
Scorers: PANTHERS 30 Tries: Lewis, Howland, Wesser, Campbell Goals: Campbell (3/5), Sattler (1/1), Gower (1/1), Rodney (2/2) defeated DRAGONS 26 Tries: Firman, Cross, Barrett, Gasnier, Thompson Goals: Riddell (3/4), Roberts (0/1),
By the clock:
Beautiful sunshine greets the teams and fans at the packed Penrith Stadium this afternoon.
4th min: PENALTY GOAL - Campbell for Panthers. Firman (Dragons) penalised for coming in late in the tackle. This follows another penalty earlier in the same set, for offside play. Easy kick in the end for Campbell. Panthers 2-0
8th min: TRY - Lewis for Panthers. The Dragons very nearly scoring, then the Panthers, with possession, are down the other end of the field scoring. Rooney, flying down the sideline, set up the play, on the fifth tackle, Gower puts the chip through for Lewis who scoops the ball up and scores. Campbell, misses the conversion from 15 metres in. Panthers 6-0
13th min: TRY - Firman for Dragons. Panthers turn to nearly score but Campbell loses it by the line. Next set and the Dragons score. Firman sets up Timmins to break through the line, then backs his team mate up and scores. Riddell gets the conversion from almost in front. 6-6
20th min: NEWS - Both teams making breaks and opening up the play, this is going to be a good contest
23rd min: TRY - Howland for Panthers. Gower set up Wesser to spin in the tackle and head off down the field. A flying Howland is there in support and dots down under the posts. Campbell gets the easy conversion from out in front. Panthers 12-6
25th min: NEWS - A great run down the sideline by Roberts (Dragons). He chips over the head of Wesser, a tussle to get the ball between the two, over the tryline, but Roberts knocks on so Saleh who dived on the ball, is not awarded the try
30th min: NEWS - This game is being played at unbelieveable speed by both sides. Brilliant breaks only to fall down near the line through the support unable to back up
33rd min: TRY - Cross for Dragons. Nice set plays from a penalty, starting with Thompson offloading beautifully on the 1st tackle. The 3rd tackle and Cross is over. Riddell from 10 metres out misses the conversion. Panthers 12-10
HALF TIME: Both teams making a lot of ground at times. Stats do suggest the Dragons should be well in front
46th min: TRY - Wesser for Panthers. Gower put a kick ahead which Howland flies down the sideline chasing, he gets a boot on it. It bounces perfectly for a sprinting Wesser to collect and score, no Dragons in sight. Campbell gets the easy conversion. Panthers 18-10
50th min: PENALTY GOAL - Gower for Panthers. A penalty for a late sandwich tackle on Gower (Panthers), then some back chat, so the Dragons are marched 10 metres making an easy kick for Gower. Panthers 20-10
52nd min: TRY - Campbell for Panthers. An enthusiastic Panthers pack are ripping the Dragons defence apart. A hint of a forward pass from Wesser to a flying Campbell, but not called up. Sattler gets the conversion from out in front. Panthers 26-10
55th min: TRY - Barrett for Dragons. Barrett takes the ball to the line on the 50 metre mark, pops a beauty pass to Thompson, then backs up Thompson who times his pass to Barrett perfectly. Roberts misses the conversion. Panthers 26-14
58th min: NEWS - Cooper (Dragons) injured in a tackle made by Wesser after breaking the defensive line, falling heavily. Play stopped while a disorientated Cooper leaves the field
64th min: NEWS - Dragons penalised twice in arow for being inside the 10 metres
67th min: TRY - Gasnier for Dragons. A lot of room up the middle of the ruck for the Dragons. Through they go and Gasnier at speed gets the try. Riddell's kick, from 20 out, hits the post and fortunately for the Dragons goes over. Panthers 26-20
70th min: PENALTY GOAL - Rodney for Panthers. From the kick off, a knock on by the Dragons. Picked up by the Dragons in an offside position. Easy kick for Rodney. Panthers 28-20
74th min: PENALTY GOAL - Rodney for Panthers. The line dropout by the Dragons did not go 10 metres. Easy penalty kick. Panthers 30-20
76th min: TRY - Thompson for Dragons. Barrett puts him through the gap perfectly. Riddell with a quick conversion. Panthers 30-26
80th min: Do or die stuff for the Dragons, 2 penalties right at the last and a line dropout thanks to Gower (Panthers) kicking it out behind the goaline from a scrum. But they couldn't score. Exciting stuff
FULL TIME: What a finish. The Dragons went all out at the last, but to no avail the Panthers hung in there, 30-26