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The Tigers drew first blood with a try to late inclusion Peni Tagive, but the Panthers leveled it up just six minutes later after Gordon flew onto a Luke Lewis kick to score out wide and converted from near touch to level the scores.
Daine Laurie got the Tigers next try nine minutes before halftime after a pass from John Morris that hit front rower Bryce Gibbs on the way through but didn't go forward according to video referee Bill Harrigan. The Tigers went to halftime with a 10-6 lead.
It didn't take the Panthers long to take the lead in the second half when in just the 43rd minute Gordon got his second try of the night. A pass from Lewis went to ground and bounced up perfectly for Gordon who kicked ahead behind Tigers winger Taniela Tuiaki. Gordon was too quick for Tuiaki who had to turn and chase and Gordon scored and converted to make it 12-10 to the Panthers.
The second half was all Penrith from then on - replacement player Masada Iosefa crashed over from a good pass from Rhys Wesser to extend the lead to 18-10 and then Michael Jennings finished the scoring for the night with a try from an inside pass from five eighth Wade Graham with 10 minutes to go. That made the score 24-10 and that's the way it stayed.
The Panthers were best served by Gordon, Iosefa, Wesser and Tony Puletua. Their go forward and play the ball speed was far superior than the Tigers who made too many handling errors. The Tigers best were Benji Marshall, Robbie Farah and Bryce Gibbs.
On a sour note for Penrith, young winger Lachlan Coote suffered what could be a seroius knee injury early in the first half which could see him on the sideline for a extended period.
Match Details Penrith Panthers 24 def Wests Tigers 10 Round 20 - Saturday July 26th, 2008 7:30pm Venue: CUA Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Touch Judges: Gerard Sutton, Brett Suttor Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Halftime: Panthers 6 Tigers 10 Crowd: 14,067 Penrith Panthers 24 Tries: Michael Gordon (2), Masada Iosefa, Michael Jennings Goals: Michael Gordon (4/4) Wests Tigers 10 Tries: Peni Tagive, Daine Laurie Goals: Benji Marshall (1/2) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Michael Gordon (Panthers) 2 Points: Masada Iosefa (Panthers) 1 Point: Tony Puletua (Panthers)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary The Penrith Panthers v The Wests Tigers from CUA Stadium. Kick off 7:30pm EST. Head to Head- Played 14, Panthers 10, Tigers 4 At CUA Stadium- Played 7, Panthers 5, Tigers 2. Both teams coming off last start wins. I'm tipping the Panthers in a close game. Teams- PANTHERS: 1. Rhys Wesser 2. Lachlan Coote 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Tighe 5. Michael Gordon 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Lewis 8. Tony Puletua 9. Luke Priddis 10. Petero Civoniceva (C) 19. Joseph Paulo 12. Trent Waterhouse 13. Nathan Smith Interchange: 14. Matthew Bell 15. Junior Moors 16. Maurice Blair 17. Masada Iosefa. Reserves: 18. Luke Rooney TIGERS: 19. Tim Moltzen 2. Taniela Tuiaki 3. Dene Halatau 4. Chris Lawrence 18. P. Tagive 6. Benji Marshall 7. Robbie Farah 8. Keith Galloway 9. John Morris 10. Bryce Gibbs 11. Bronson Harrison 12. Chris Heighington 13. Liam Fulton Interchange: 14. Stuart Flanagan 15. Ben Te