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A dominating Penrith Panthers outfit has held off a spirited Canberra Raiders fight-back to win 34-16 at CUA Stadium tonight.
After a tentative beginning from both sides, Penrith were first on the scoreboard through Shane Elford, as a Luke Walsh bomb is kept alive by Frank Pritchard.
Penrith added to their lead in the 20th minute, as Luke Lewis barged his way through the defence after a beautiful inside ball. who had a good night with the boot adding the extras. Tries to a rampaging Frank Pritchard and leaping Lachlan Coote added to Canberra's woes, as they headed to the break trailing by 22 points.
Half time couldn't come soon enough for Canberra, but the break revitalised them. The Raiders came out of the dressing sheds like a freight train in the second half, scoring 16 unanswered points to bring themselves back into the game.
However, their comeback was brought to a screeching halt when a pass meant for the Canberra wingers was snapped up by Adrian Purtell, before he ran the length of the field to stretch the lead back to 12 points lead.
Penrith finished off the Raiders with another try to Lachlan Coote in the 75th minute, as they ran out 34-16 winners.
Match Details Penrith Panthers 34 defeated Canberra Raiders 16 National Rugby League - NRL - Round 1 - Saturday March 13, 2010 7:30pm Venue: CUA Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons and Alan Shortall Video Referee: Russell Smith Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Luke Phillips Crowd: 11,133 Halftime: Penrith Panthers 22 Canberra Raiders 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Luke Walsh
2 Points - Lachlan Coote (2 Tries)
1 Point - Terry Campese (2 Conversions)
Penrith Panthers (34)
Tries: Luke Lewis, Adrian Purtell, Lachlan Coote (2), Shane Elford, Kevin Kingston
Conversions: Michael Gordon (5/6)
Canberra Raiders (16)
Tries: Scott Logan, Joel Thompson, Daniel Vidot
Conversions: Terry Campese (2/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to CUA Stadium on this cool Saturday night, We are set for an entertaining game between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders, Earlier today, the Panthers u20 side completed a romp over the Raiders 46-26.
One change for the Raiders with Shaun Fensom replacing Troy Thompson and for Penrith, Trent Waterhouse is out, replaced by Nigel Plum.
1 min: Penrith kicks off and we're underway here at CUA Stadium.
2 min: Solid sets by both teams to start their season
5 min: First penalty of the game goes to Penrith for the defenders being offside.
6 min: Lachlan Coote makes an error after an inside pass by Luke Lewis goes to ground.
7 min: Danny Galea can't hold onto a pass which was up near his head.
8 min: Danny Galea is off the field early favouring his shoulder.
9 min: Michael Gordon drops a high bomb from Campese and Canberra have a great attacking opportunity close to the line.
10 min: Terry Campese takes on the line and drops the ball after a good tackle from a Penrith player.
11 min: Penalty to Penrith for Canberra defenders laying onto the player too long. Penrith go on the attack again close to Canberra's line.
11 min: Petero Civoniceva drops the ball taking a hit up and trying to promote the ball further.
12 min: Marc Herbet throws a forward pass to Vidot who would have been away, if it wasn't called but the error allows Penrith another set at their line.
13 min: TRY
Penrith score after Walsh puts up a bomb and Pritchard keeps it alive and Shane Elford goes in. Conversion by Gordon is unsuccessful.
Penrith Panthers 4-0
16 min: A good set after the try for Penrith has set Canberra deep into their own territory to ruck it out.
17 min: A Terry Campese bomb is caught by Dugan and spills it trying to promote the ball.
18 min: Another penalty to Penrith after another Canberra player lays on the tackle too long.
19 min: Luke Walsh gets his team a repeat set after a smart grubber is collected by Josh Dugan and he is tackled in-goal.
19 min: Terry Campese kicks a huge drop-out which is wasted after an off-side penalty by Shaun Fensom.
20 min: TRY
Luke Lewis touches down after an inside pass sucked in several Canberra players. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon is successful.
Penrith Panthers 10-0
Penrith are making metres at will and their kicking game is putting the Raiders back three under some immense pressure.
24 min: Michael Gordon tries to force the ball and drops the ball and it's pounced on by Canberra who in turn drop the ball on their first tackle.
25 min: TRY
Frank Pritchard makes a good bust and passes it to Kevin Kingston who scores right next to the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Penrith Panthers 16-0
26 min: Josh Miller for Canberra won't be back tonight.
28 min: After a promising attacking set, Bronson Harrison drops it near the sideline. Penrith back on the attack.
29 min: TRY
Luke Walsh hoists a bomb which is caught by Lachlan Coote, who juggles the ball and then takes it in under the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Penrith Panthers 22-0
32 min: Canberra get a penalty after a Reece Robinson jumps up for a grubber on the halfway line and is collected by Michael Jennings. Canberra on the attack in Penrith's 20.
33 min: Terry Campese puts a grubber into the in-goal, which is taken by Jennings who runs it dead.
34 min: Trevor Thurling wastes all Campeses good work by dropping it on the first then tries some afters with the Penrith defence
35 min: Jarrod Crocker is penalised for holding onto the legs too long and allows Penrith to attack deep in Canberra's half.
36 min: Canberra get a penalty after Travis Burns goes on with the tackle too long, giving Canberra a reprieve close to half-time.
38 min: Canberra get a repeat set after Michael Gordon drops a Terry Campese bomb.
39 min: Canberra then waste the opportunity as a defender gets in the way of the kick and it trickles over the dead ball line.
40 min: A last ditch effort for points before the break for Canberra is thawted by Travis Burns who swats the ball over the dead-ball line.
40 min: HALFTIME. A scrappy first half, as expected in Round 1 with Penrith being more clinical running in four tries. Canberra need to complete their sets to try and force their way back into this match.
41 min: Canberra kick the ball off down to Penrith's 20 to start the second half.
43 min: Both teams start the second half much like the first with solid sets followed by deep kicks.
44 min: Shane Elford gets out of the In-Goal then is penalised for walking off the mark, giving Canberra a great opportunity to start the second half.
45 min: TRY
Scott Logan wrestles his way over after the Penrith error. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese is unsuccessful.
Penrith Panthers 22-4
46 min: Canberra are building some momentum with a good kick chase and force an error from Michael Jennings
48 min: TRY
A slick backline movement from a scrum is finished off by Daniel Vidot in the corner to continue the Canberra comeback. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese is successful.
Penrith Panthers 22-10
52 min: Canberra run the ball on the last and kick it harmlessly into Penrith's 20.
53 min: Canberra try to force the ball once too often and drop it close to the line, letting Penrith off the hook.
55 min: Civoniceva drops the ball after a dominate tackle, bringing Canberra onto the attack again.
56 min: A high tackle gets Canberra closer to the line but Bronson Harrison drops the balls on the attack.
57 min: Michael Jennings drops a terrible Luke Walsh pass to invite Canberra to attack again.
57 min: Michael Jennings drops a terrible Luke Walsh pass to invite Canberra to attack again.
58 min: TRY
Joel Thompson wrestles his way to the try line after a six again call from the referee. Conversion attempt by Terry Campese is successful and Canberra are within a converted try.
Penrith Panthers 22-16
59 min: Shane Elford is assisted from the field after being injured during the set up the try. Major re-shuffle for Penrith here.
61 min: Momentum is building for the Raiders who recieve another penalty for some offside defenders in front of the referee.
62 min: TRY
Canberra deep on the attack throw a long ball out to Daniel Vidot which is intercepted by Adrain Purtell who runs away and scores. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon is successful
Penrith Panthers 28-16
65 min: Canberra make their seventh interchange with Shaun Fensom trotting off holding his shoulder, replaced by Alan Tongue.
68 min: Canberra seemingly forget that it's 5th tackle and hit it up and have to hand the ball over. Penrith quickly hand the ball back from a simple error.
69 min: Canberra waste some good field position with a lazy pass relieving Penrith.
71 min: After another Canberra error Adrian Purtell tries to march over the line but is held up.
71 min: Joseph Paulo drops an easy grubber kick which would have sealed the game. Canberra with some slight hope still.
73 min: Luke Walsh pins Canberra back in their own area with a large kick, making it hard for them to get back into this.
75 min: TRY
Michael Gordon makes a bust downfield and passes it onto Kingston who unloads to Coote who finishes off Canberra's hopes tonight. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon is successful.
Penrith Panthers 34-16
77 min: Penrith almost give Canberra an opportunity for a consolation try with a juggle from the kick off.
79 min: Marc Herbert tries a spectacular chip kick for himself to end the game but is caught after the second one and knocks it on.
80 min: FULLTIME Penrith survive a second half comeback from the Canberra Raiders to run out winners.