Panthers claw back to buck Broncos in extra time

Round 3 - Full Time :: March 30th, 2007 Kick off: 8:00 PM Venue: Suncorp Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Crowd: 24,582

The Penrith Panthers have snatched a 29-28 victory over the Brisbane Broncos following a sensational field goal from five eighth Peter Wallace in extra time.

Enjoying the humid conditions, the large Lang Park crowd were celebrating as star centre Justin Hodges ran in four tries - an individual effort which appeared to be setting up the Broncos for their first win of the year.

But late tries to Panthers' winger Michael Jennings and full back Rhys Wesser levelled the scores, sending the see-sawing match into golden point extra time.

The Broncos posted a 4-0 lead in the opening minutes with five eighth Darren Lockyer converting two penalty goal opportunities.

But the Panthers crossed the line first with winger Michael Gordon getting the opener to his double in the 19th minute, and putting the visitors in front for the first time.

The Broncos regained the lead in the 23rd minute with Hodges forcing his way over and snaring the first of his quadruple.

Gordon got his double in the 28th minute as the Broncos left side was again exposed, the try delivering a 10-8 lead to the Panthers.

The Broncos struck back soon after when Hodges crossed in the 31st minute, the 14-10 scoreboard again favouring the home side.

But two tries before the break - a 90 metre intercept to Michael Jennings and a crashing effort from centre Luke Lewis - saw the Panthers post a 20-14 lead at half time.

After the break, Hodges stamped his authority on the match with his own 90 metre intercept and great turn of pace to lock up the scores at 20-all. Hodges was on hand again a few minutes later with a dragging tackle to win possession, followed soonafter with his fourth four-pointer to give the Broncos a 26-20 lead after 48 minutes.

A penalty goal to Lockyer on the 68th minute gave the Broncos a crucial eight point buffer. With both sides exhausted by the conditions and pace of the match, it was hard to see the Panthers mounting yet another comeback.

But a lanky try-scoring run by Jennings in the 77th minute gave the Panthers a sniff. Then an amazing try from Wesser on the stroke of fulltime suddenly put the match into overtime.

The Panthers lifted in extra time as two failed field goal attempts from Panthers half back Craig Gower kept the home side on the back foot.

Then with the Broncos defending well, Panthers pivot Peter Wallace caught everyone by surprise when he potted a long range speculator from 42 metres out to win the match.

Brisbane Broncos 28 Tries: Justin Hodges (4) Goals: Darren Lockyer (6/7) Penrith Panthers 29 Tries: Michael Gordon (2), Michael Jennings (2), Luke Lewis, Rhys Wesser Field Goals: Craig Gower (0/2), Peter Wallace (1/1) Goals: Michael Gordon (2/6) Live commnentary

Warm evening in Brisbane with the possibility of cool change later. But not before the Broncos and the Panthers meet in the heat at old Lang Park tonight.

Panthers coming off a big win last week. The Broncos yet to post a win but have skipper and playmaker Darren Lockyer back in the run-on side. Kick off!

3 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Lockyer slots the goal from the 20m line and almost in front. Brisbane Broncos 2-0

6 min: Possible TRY to Broncos. Video ref looking at the Shaun Berrigan put down.

NO TRY

7 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Panthers penalised because hooker Luke Priddis was ruled to have come from an offside position. Lockyer has no worries from almost in front. Brisbane Broncos 4-0

12 min: Panthers fullback Rhys Wesser getting some attention from the trainers are copping a knock in a legit but heavy tackle.

19 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Winger Michael Gordon scores out wide. Great movement from 20m out beginning with forward Frank Pritchard offloading in traffic before Wesser draws in the defence and passes to an unmarked Gordon. Gordon's conversion from the sideline is a ripper. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 6-4

23 min: Centre Justin Hodges looks to have scored for the Broncos. Video ref having a look at the put down but this one should get the four points.

23 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Hodges is given the green light. Lockyer lines up from out wide. Conversion attempt by Darren Lockyer unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 8-6

28 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Gordon gets a double as the Panthers again find an overlap on the right flank. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful. Penrith Panthers 10-8

31 min: Another possible try to Broncos. Vid ref looking at the Hodges put down out wide.

31 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The power of Hodges sees him force his way over out wide after he gets around the defence. Beaut kick from Lockyer to convert. Conversion attempt by Darren Lockyer successful. Brisbane Broncos 14-10

34 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Centre Michael Jennings comes up out of the line to intercept and run 90m to score under the posts. Great turn of speed and anticipation just when the Broncos were pressing the line. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 16-14

39 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Big centre Luke Lewis scores just wide of the posts after Trent Waterhouse busts the line from 25m out. Gordon misses a sitter. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful. Penrith Panthers 20-14

Half time: Panthers 20-14 An entertaining first half. After giving away a number of penalties early in the match, and withstanding some enterprising play from the Broncos, the Panthers have finished the stronger of the two teams in the first 40. The Broncos showing plenty of strike power but seem to be relying a little too much on individual play from the likes of Hodges. A see-sawing match which is far from over. Gordon's missed conversion attempt right on half time could come back to haunt.

Players back on the pitch. Second half underway...

44 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Hodges intercepts a Wesser pass and shows a surprising turn of pace to run almost 90m to score his hat trick next to the sticks. Conversion attempt by Darren Lockyer successful. 20 all

48 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Hodges gets try number four as the Broncos send it wide and have four on three with Hodges stretching over the get the points out wide. Follows a possession gainer from Hodges when he dragged a Panthers player into touch. Lockyer's kick nails the extras. Conversion attempt by Darren Lockyer successful. Brisbane Broncos 26-20

49 min: ON REPORT - Wesser is placed on report after a stray boot connected with Hodges the try scorer. Not much in it and Wesser seemed to be aiming to kick the ball.

53 min: Possible TRY to Panthers (Wesser). Vid ref looking at obstruction in the play-the-ball.

NO TRY - Penalty to Broncos.

60 min: Broncos on the ascendancy and asking a lot of the Panthers defence. But action-a-plenty and this match looks set to make another turn.

67 min: Amazing scenes as Penrith look to have the overlap before yet another intercept sees winger Steve Michaels almost go all the way, only to be grassed from behind. Broncos then get a penalty from almost in front as the Panthers are running back onside.

68 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Turning point as Lockyer slots the goal to give the home side an eight point buffer. Brisbane Broncos 28-20

77 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Jennings gets a double, scoring out wide after scooping up a loose ball and running over 70m. Not much left in the tank for both sides. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 28-24

80 min: Possible TRY to Panthers!!!! Wesser has cut through to dive on a loose ball as the full time siren has sounded. Waiting for the video ref...

TRY! Kick to come.... Young Michael Gordon lines up from out wide as Lang Park erupts!

80 min: TRY Penrith Panthers As noted above, Wesser puts us into Golden Point extra time. Conversion goes narrowly across the face of goal. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful. 28 all

82 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Penrith Panthers Gower has the first shot for the Panthers as both sides play for field position. 28 all

84 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Penrith Panthers Another shot (from in front) but the pressure from the Broncos is good enough to see Gower's kick go wide. 28 all

85 min: Teams swap ends.

86 min: FIELD GOAL Penrith Panthers Five eighth Peter Wallace surprises everyone with a field goal from 42m out to snatch victory for the Panthers. An incredible finish to an extraordinary match. Penrith Panthers 29-28

Full time: Panthers 29-28 Penrith post their second win of the year while the reigning premiers remain pointless on the competition ladder. Hard to go past Justin Hodges as the LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the match - four tries and a sensational display which placed the Broncos into a winning position. But some inspirational forward effort from the likes of Frank Pritchard and the brilliance of Rhys Wesser in the backline kept the visitors in contention... and ultimately into a position to snatch victory.

LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Justin Hodges (Broncos) 2 Points: Rhys Wesser (Panthers) 1 Point: Frank Pritchard (Panthers)

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