The Penrith Panthers have beaten Wests Tigers 26-18 in front of a near capacity 19,220 fans at CUA stadium.
In front of a massive crowd, and after a week of disappointing news in Rugby League, fans haven't been disappointed by the standard of football in the match.
It took just four minutes for the Panthers to cross after a sloppy start from the Tigers. Both teams were equally terrible in defence early on in the match, but played well enough to improve as time went on, showing intensity with and without the ball.
Just seven minutes later, the scores were levelled after some Robbie Farah brilliance, putting Chris Heighington over. Michael Jennings put the Panthers in front in the 25th minute, but the Tigers hit back through Chris Lawrence making the scores level again.
A penalty on half time allowed the Panthers to edge ahead by 2 points at the half time break. Both teams were marred by mistakes in the second half, but the Panthers were able to convert more chances into points. The 65th minute saw Lachlan Coote cross for his second try of the night, giving the Panthers an eight point lead. The Tigers crossed just five minutes later to reduce the deficit to two, but a late try to Michael Gordon, which was uncontested by any Tigers defenders gave the Panthers the win, their fourth in a row.
The Tigers looked good at points during the game, but they failed to convert some good chances into points which proved to be the deciding factor at the end of the game. The Panthers, while sloppy at times, were able to convert more chances and are looking to be a very worthy opponent for teams in this year's NRL premiership.
Penrith Panthers 26 defeated Wests Tigers 18
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 7 - Saturday April 24, 2010 5:30pm
Venue: CUA Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Chris James
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Ricky McFarlane
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 14 Wests Tigers 12
PENRITH PANTHERS (26)
Tries: Michael Gordon, Michael Jennings, Lachlan Coote (2)
Conversions: Michael Gordon (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Michael Gordon (1/1)
WESTS TIGERS (18)
Tries: Chris Heighington, Chris Lawrence, Mark Flanagan
Conversions: Benji Marshall (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good afternoon ladies and gents - welcome to this game between the Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers here at CUA stadium. The weather is rather ominous at the moment. Its rather cold, a lot of cloud, but it looks like there is a big crowd coming in. Looks like it will be a great night for rugby league, and this live updater is excited. There is a strange person behind me reading what I'm typing, thinking I don't know that he is watching. Yes Tigers supporter behind me, I mean you!
Tonight, if you have any comments, suggestions or general criticism of how I smell, please send through to email@example.com. Would love to hear from some updaters tonight!
Waiting to hear any details on team changes so we will see what happens.
News so far is that approx. 18,000 people are here so far. Tried to verify this myself, but lost count at 54.
On another note, I can also see a lot of people already logged in to view this update tonight - great stuff.
Team lists are currently being read out here at the ground and I don't think there are any changes from what was originally announced. Good to see Farah is playing.
Have to mention this crowd again - there is an absolute bucketload of people here... Its almost at capacity (20,000). Fantastic stuff! The Tigers are running out onto the field.
1 min: Kick off from Penrith- Here we go
2 min: Pritchard creates a good play there and almost gets away. Throws a pass to Tighe who tries to offload, but Lawrence gets a hand to it and knocks on. Another set for the Panthers.
3 min: Penalty against the Panthers - way offside there and the Tigers will get some help to get back up the field.
4 min: Wests Tigers lose the ball and the Panthers get it back again. Chance wasted by the Tigers
4 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. A great try here from Penrith. They capitalised on a drop ball from the Tigers and get first blood. Frank Pritchard gets involved and gets the ball away to Coote who crosses.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
8 min: The Panthers are looking good here at the moment. The Tigers are lacking intensity, but it is early days here at CUA.
11 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Chris Heighington. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. What a fantastic try! Robbie Farah gets straight through some terrible defence. He sprints down field, offloads to Tuquri who sends the final pass to Heighington who sails over the line, scoring one of the best this year for the Tigers. Great work.
12 min: Fantastic start to this game. The Tigers have lifted after that try and the crowd is into it.
12 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Petero Civoniceva makes an unforced error. Knocked it on - Tigers get the scrum feed.
14 min: Forummers on Leagueunlimited.com were just impressed with that last try. Described as "wow..." and "... wow!". That is simply the only way to describe it. Was fantastic.
16 min: Tuquri is looking great in this match. Everytime he has got the ball he has looked dangerous. The Tigers are pushing hard here towards the Panthers line looking for their second.... as I say that, the ball is kicked into touch 10 metres out.
19 min: Pass from dummy half in their own half by the Panthers has gone way forward. Terrible, terrible stuff. Shouldn't be happening in first grade.
21 min: Penalty to the Panthers - not taking the two, going for the try!
22 min: Petero has gone up the tunnel. Not sure what is wrong - I'm going to see if I can find out by hanging around the sheds until they tell me.
22 min: Penalty to the Panthers again - right in front. They are going to go for a try again.
25 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Michael Jennings. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Fantastic work there and a good decision to go for the points. Jennings crosses over the line and the Panthers get in front. Marshall couldn't hold on to Jennings while other defenders seemed to be asleep.
Penrith Panthers 12-6
25 min: Petero has come back. From what I've been told, he just likes to go for walks when he is off the field, so there is nothing wrong with him. Apologies if I scared anyone
28 min: Almost another try to the Panthers there. Some good work by Purtell and Tighe, but unfortunately the kick got an unlucky bounce and Coote couldn't get to it in time. Great work though.
29 min: Just on a side note, news received is that Channel Nine has named Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis as being three who received money outside of the salary cap.
29 min: As I was typing that, the Panthers looked like scoring again but a pass has been called forward... didn't look like it from here but the touchie was convinced it was. I think he was facing the wrong way
31 min: Tigers get through the line. Tuquri sprints away but gets caught. Tigers looking like they could hit back here.
31 min: Penalty to the Tigers - they will get another set 20 metres out from the line. They need to score here and level it up before half time.
31 min: COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS OR GENERAL RAMBLINGS: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
32 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Chris Lawrence. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. An unfortunate forward pass call and a penalty have given the Tigers possession and helped them up the field, and they hit back. Great work here and this has proven to be a fantastic game.
35 min: Penalty to the Tigers - momentum has shifted and they have another chance to cross again here about 40 metres out. Great position here.
38 min: Farah leading the tackle count with 22 at the moment - working very hard. 14/16 completions for the Panthers - 11/13 for the Tigers. Penrith 59% possession, 41% for the Tigers. Very even game here.
40 min: Penalty to the Panthers just before half time here - 5 seconds left, I think they'll take a shot at goal here.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Penrith Panthers
Penalty goal attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Penrith Panthers 14-12
40 min: And at half time, the Panthers egde ahead in what is a very close and exciting game of football. Will post some stats in a moment.
40 min: COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS OR GENERAL RAMBLINGS: Email email@example.com
40 min: PANTHERS (Wests Tigers)
Errors: 2 (3)
Completions: 17/19 (15/17)
Missed Tackles: 22 (16)
Tackles: 121 (150)
40 min: Email from Dylan regarding the Storm news: "Did anyone doubt that Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater were the one's involved in the salary cap breach. As I recall Cameron Smith was looking at leaving the Storm and wanted to come back to Qld last year but the mighty Storm got him to resign. Didn't anyone else out there feel that something was going on?" I do agree that it was pretty obvious they were the players that were getting paid some overs to stay. However I don't think the players knew they were being paid illegal monies. We will have to see what happens. firstname.lastname@example.org.
40 min: Email from Steve: "Does anyone think the refs are having a SHOCKER? Hayne must have money on the Tigers!" I honestly thought they are having a great game bar one bad call on a forward pass, but that was from the touchie I think. Can't recall any real terrible calls! email@example.com if you want to get anything out there.
40 min: Players are coming back onto the field and we are about to get back into it.
40 min: One more email before we get back into it
Email from Sam: "Have to say I'm enjoying a live update with a bit of humour, a lot of updates and allowing people to email you. Need more of that! Go the Tigers!"
Thanks but I tipped the Panthers...
42 min: That pass by Penrith was horrendously forward, but missed by the touchies... I'm about to go down there and take over for them, thongs and all.
43 min: Miscommunication by Marshall and Tuquri. Shocking pass sees the Panthers get the ball back. Missed opportunity there...
44 min: Line drop out for the Tigers - Panthers have come out firing. Just to clarify after receiving an email, I said "thongs" - plural. Ones you wear on your feet!
46 min: The Panthers are working hard here, a metre out from scoring. Tigers stepping up in defence... and as I say that, Penalty to the Tigers for obstruction. Stupid play there by the Panthers and was easily avoidable. A let off.
46 min: Crowd is 19,220 - absolutely fantastic. Well done to the fans for coming out in droves for what has been a great game!
48 min: Panthers knock on - silly mistake that. Tigers get out of trouble again.
48 min: Penalty to the Tigers - Panthers ruled to have interfered with the play the ball. The Tigers are on the attack now in the Panthers half, 15 out.
48 min: The Tigers lose the ball - Bryce Gibbs tries to offload but it goes nowhere. Scrum to the Panthers.
50 min: COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS OR GENERAL RAMBLINGS: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
50 min: Penalty to the Tigers - honestly not sure what for there as I missed it.
53 min: Tigers make another silly mistake - Panthers get the scrum feed. Mistakes galore at the moment!
55 min: Panthers working hard in defence here to keep the Tigers out. A very grinding start to this half!
55 min: Email from Anthony: "Malta's legion of Penrith Panthers supporters are watching your updates from Valletta. 30 minutes to go......go Penrith!" Good to hear! Hope you're enjoying it. You'll be disappointed to hear that Pritchard still isn't back on the field, been off for about 40 minutes or so. He needs to get back on!
56 min: Walsh knocks on and gives the ball back to the Tigers.
57 min: I'm trying to get someone to check if Frank Pritchard is injured - from here, he looks okay, but has been sitting there for a LONG time doing nothing? Surely he has to come back on here for the final quarter of the match.
58 min: Penalty to Penrith - Tigers interfere with the play the ball. Panthers get a nice piggyback up field and get out of their own half.
60 min: Penrith on the attack - only 10 metres out and looking ominous. Walsh has the ball on the last... poor kick, Tigers get the ball and they are out of danger.
61 min: Penalty to the Tigers - Frustration here after some good work undone by a poor kick, then players being offside. Tigers out of their own half.
61 min: Waterhouse and Pritchard are both still off the field - news received that they are both 100% fit and are simply enjoying a rest. Elliott surely will put them back on soon.
63 min: COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS OR GENERAL RAMBLINGS: Email email@example.com
64 min: Purtell makes a line break, gets ankle tapped by Lazarus and is roughly 20 metres out. Panthers on the attack again as the Tigers are looking sluggish in defence again. Pritchard is back on the field though (about time!)
65 min: Line drop out from the Tigers - Panthers go for it again.
65 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. The young Lachlan Coote gets his second try of the night and it is well deserved for the Panthers. Frank Pritchard helps get the ball up the field (I told you he needed to be on!). Lewis gets away and offloads to Coote who crosses.
Penrith Panthers 20-12
66 min: Jennings is getting his eye checked after getting a finger in it? Looks like he will be okay but just to be sure.
66 min: Penalty to the Panthers - Fifita makes a stupid mistake by pushing the tackled player. Panthers get up the field again and if they score here, the Tigers could be done and dusted.
67 min: Tigers intercept the Panthers pass close to their line! Tigers sprint up to the Panthers' 30 metre line but a great tackle by Purtell prevents any further damage. Tigers now on the attack.
68 min: Drop out for the Panthers - momentum changed in a second there. The Tigers will need to close this deficit and score before they run out of time.
70 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Mark Flanagan. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. This game just goes back and forth. Chris Heighington breaks through the line and offloads to Flangan who crosses right under the posts. Two points in it now!
Penrith Panthers 20-18
72 min: Eight minutes to go and this match is close. What a contest in front of a great crowd!
73 min: Scrum to the Panthers but that should have been a stripping penalty I think. Lucky call.
74 min: Crossfield kick for the Panthers close to the line...
75 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Michael Gordon. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Oh dear! The Panthers kick is good but the Tigers didn't even try to catch it! They just watched Gordon take it. Chris Lawrence didn't even want a bar of it. How can you do that at the end of such a close game? That call where the Tigers were ruled to have lost the ball appears to be a big one, as I'm sure Lewis stripped it. The Panthers should take it home from here.
Penrith Panthers 26-18
77 min: Checking to see if Lewis has scored... I think that is the end of it now. Looks okay to me.
78 min: No try? I can't see how. It has been ruled that Coote got his hand to it and knocked it on but it looked like it went back. The Tigers get the ball and will have a shot here to get back, but 8 points might be too much with the time to go.
78 min: Panthers have one last shot at getting another try. Nothing silly and they'll take the match.
78 min: Purtell makes a break but throws a pass that goes back to the Tigers. Too late I think for the Tigers to get the points here.
80 min: Full time here at CUA stadium and a fantastic contest has ended with the Panthers taking the 2 points. This was a very enjoyable game to watch and the fans that came in droves were not disappointed.