Panthers consolidate top four position

The Penrith Panthers have defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs in front of 11,832 people at ANZ Stadium by 22-16 in a scrappy affair. The win allows the Panthers to consolidate their position in the top four.

It seems that all rugby league supporters, except those of their club have been death riding the Panthers in 2014. Yet, they have proven their fortitude repeatedly by winning many matches against the odds as they have succeeded in doing again tonight in a scrappy affair over the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.

Both sides were looking to consolidate their position in the top four and it was the Panthers who had the better of the first half. The players went into the sheds with the men from the West ahead 6-0 courtesy of a try to James Segeyaro in the 9th minute.

Canterbury may have been hard done by with a couple of contentious decisions by the video referees going against them in front of their vocal and frustrated fans. The biggest of these was a decision to deny Canterbury centre Tim Lafai by ruling there was separation with the ball. This came after Referee Matt Checcin referred the decision upstairs by signalling a try.

The Panthers, with their inspirational skipper Peter Wallace sidelined for the rest of the season were expected to falter but the return of NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds from suspension for the Bulldogs failed to make an impact for the boys from Belmore.

Ivan Cleary's men came out all guns blazing in the second half and shot out to an unassailable 22-0 lead through tries to Segeyaro - his second, winger Josh Mansour and fullback Matt Moylan. The Dogs scored a few late tries through Tim Lafai, Trent Hodkinson and Sam Kasiano, however, the damage had already been done.

On a sour note the already injury riddled Panthers lost both Elijah Taylor, with an ACL tear in his left knee and Bryce Cartwright also with a leg injury during the match. Early reports suggest Taylor has played his final game for the season.

The Panthers were led brilliantly around the field by Jamie Soward and the explosive play out of dummy half by Segeyaro allowed Penrith plenty of latitude. For the Bulldogs, Josh Jackson and Tim Lafai tried their hardest and were the pick of the Canterbury players.

The win gives the Panthers a faint glimmer of hope they can finish on top of the table while the Bulldogs could slip to as low as 6th by the end of the round. Des Hasler faces a big task in putting a halt to his teams losing streak which has now stretched to three matches.

Match Details
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16 Penrith Panthers 22
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Crowd: 11832
Halftime Score: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0 Penrith Panthers 6 Players of the Match:
3 points - James Segeyaro
2 points - Jamie Soward
1 point - Adam Docker

Tries: Timoteo Lafai, Trent Hodkinson, Sam Kasiano
Conversions: Trent Hodkinson (2/3)

Tries: James Segeyaro (2), Josh Mansour, Matt Moylan
Conversions: Jamie Soward (3/4) Live Commentary

Welcome to ANZ Stadium for what should be a great battle between Canterbury (4) and Penrith (3). Both will be desperate for victory in order to consolidate their position in the top four. These teams are coming off consecutive losses but are sure to make the cut in September. The last time they met was in round 3 this year at Sportingbet Stadium with the home side coming away with an 18-16 victory.

TEAM NEWS: Canterbury welcome back Josh Reynolds from his suspension from Origin III. Josh Morris is still unavailable. Penrith has been dealt a huge blow with Peter Wallace injuring his knee in last Saturday's loss to Cronulla which has ruled him out for the season. Will Smith makes his debut lining up in the number 6 jersey alongside Jamie Soward who will play halfback.

TEAM CHANGES: From the teams named on Tuesday, Mitch Brown has been ruled out of the Bulldogs side and replaced by Chase Stanley. Penrith will be 1 - 17.

Teams coming out - Penrith led out by Brent Kite in their black jerseys. The Bulldogs are being led out by Sam Perrett in his 200th NRL match. Kick-off is only moments away.

1: Kick-off! Bulldogs have first use of the ball running towards the Northern End.

3: PENALTY to Canterbury. Penrith offside. Tap taken 40m out

4: Hodkinson very close to scoring if only he didn't have butter fingers. Good pass thrown by Kasiano.

6: PENALTY to Penrith. Canterbury offside. Penrith in great position 10m out

7: David Simmons held up in the corner. Good play in the lead up.

8: VIDEO REFEREE. Ref's call is TRY. Looking to see if Segeyaro is held up.

Scored by James Segeyaro. Kick to come.

Green light flashes. Segeyaro gets through some soft defence from dummy half. Scores under the black dot.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward makes no mistake from in front. PEN 6 - 0

12: The Bulldogs are throwing the ball around. They are 20m out now.

14: Segeyaro puts an attacking kick towards the wing of Simmons. The ball was just a little too high for the winger as he fingertips it into touch.

15: PENALTY to Penrith in the PTB 30m out from their own. Kasiano at fault.

17: ERROR. A good move by Penrith to their right hand side in a good attacking position but knocked on by Whare.

18: ERROR. Josh Jackson thought he was going to fly away for a try but it's been called back for a forward pass by Reynolds.

19: Penrith have the ball on the 3rd tackle on halfway

21: A few errors made by both sides so far but it seems to be a free flowing match that's going from one end to the other. PEN in a good attacking position now.

21: Changes made for both sides. PEN - Cartwright on for Manu. CBY - Finucane on for Eastwood.

21: VIDEO REFEREE. No try is called. Checking to see if Stanley was taken out over the sideline before scoring.

22: Stanley has come straight off. He appears to have injured his arm very badly in that play. Decision still pending. Video refs appear to be eating KFC. Come one boys!!

23: NO TRY. Insufficient evidence. The same arm that Stanley has injured is responsible for the no try ruling. He was out before grounding the ball.

23: Bad news for PEN now as Elijah Taylor is down with a leg injury. Medicab called for by the 'Cougar' Ron Palmer. Time out

23: CBY with the ball 10 metres out due to a PEN knock on

24: VIDEO REFEREE. No try called CBY. Checking for obstruction. Thompson is the possible scorer.

25: NO TRY. Decoy runners from CBY impeded the PEN defenders. Reni Maitua mainly at fault for running an incorrect line.

26: PENALTY to CBY. Quick tap taken by Ennis. They are inside PEN territory.

27: VIDEO REFEREE. Try called. Lafai with a possible four-pointer. Checking grounding.

28: NO TRY. Video referee rules separation by Lafai in trying to get the ball down. PEN still leading 6 - 0

32: Corey Thompson has been pushed into touch 2m from his own line after he tried running out from his in goal. PEN with the scrum feed 10m out

33: ERROR - PEN. Forward pass from Cartwright to Latimore. Pressure off for CBY. The score is still 6 - 0 in Penrith's favour.

34: ERROR - CBY. Are we playing NFL?? How many forward passes has there been so far? This time from T-Rex to Lafai. PEN 6 - 0

37: Butter fingers again can't hang on to it. Hodkinson can't hang on to a good kick back on the inside from Reynolds. PEN 6 - 0

39: PENALTY - CBY. Mansour ruled offside from a PEN kick.

40: Inside the last minute and CBY has just surrended possession when in a good attacking position. PEN 6 - 0

40: HALF TIME. The longest half of Rugby League has just ended. So many stoppages in play due mainly to errors from both teams. The video refs have been called for more than they and the fans would have liked. Plenty of mistakes have been made after a good start with some enterprising play from both sides. The players will be back out for the second half in around 10 minutes. PENRITH 6 - CANTERBURY 0

40: Kick off in the second half. PEN 6 - 0

43: ERROR - CBY. Knock on.

45: VIDEO REFEREE. Try called. Checking to see if Segeyaro is over for his 2nd of the night.

Scored by James Segeyaro. Kick to come.

TRY - PEN. Soward puts a grubber through which comes off Kasiano and into the hands of Segeyaro to go over for his 2nd try PEN 10 - 0

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

From next to the posts, Soward makes no mistake. The margin is 2 converted tries. PEN 12 - 0

52: Penrith have thrown the ball around and ran it deep into Bulldogs territory. A pass from Segeyaro in that movement has been knocked on by Maitua. PEN 10m with the feed

Scored by Josh Mansour. Kick to come.

TRY. PEN. Believe it or not the video is not called for. Segeyaro from dummy hald to Soward with a double cut out pass which eventually finds its way to Mansour to score.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.

The kick goes across the face of the uprights

57: An attacking kick from Soward has just been saved by, out of all people, Hodkinson. Hangs on to it when he's needed.

60: ERROR. CBY are struggling to run it out from their own end and now Josh Reynolds knocks on. PEN with the feed 20m out

62: Great run from Corey Thompson to bring it out from his own in goal.

63: ERROR. True to form, after Corey Thompson's great run, CBY have knocked on. The ball is with Cartwright PEN 16 - 0

63: Bryce Cartwright has also injured himelf and is being helped off by the trainers

Scored by Matt Moylan. Kick to come.

TRY. Soward with a dummy inside & out. Players in motion. Moylan runs hard onto the pass from his number 7 and scores not far from the posts.

Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

No mistake from Soward. Straight over the black dot.

67: Enterprising play from Mbye from the optional 20m restart. Finds touch 10m on Penrith's side of halfway.

Scored by Timoteo Lafai. Kick to come.

TRY. On 1 of their rare expeditions into PEN territory Lafai has scored in the corner.

Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson unsuccessful.

Kick goes just to the left of the posts. No goal

74: Sam Perrett defuses a bomb from Soward with Moylan on the charge PEN 22 - 4

Scored by Sam Kasiano. Kick to come.

The big boppers combine. Tony Williams with an offload to a rampaging Kasiano.

Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.

The NSW number 7 makes no mistake

80: VIDEO REFEREE. CBY. Try called. Checking to see if Hodkinson planted the ball in the corner without going over the sideline.

Scored by Trent Hodkinson. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS. No issues with the put down.

Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.

The try scorer makes no mistake from out wide

80: FULL TIME. Penrith have run out winners by 22 points to 16.