Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
It was a dreadful start for the Panthers conceding four penalties and two quick tries to find themselves 12-0 down after just nine minutes.
They couldn?t stay down for long though and in typical Penrith fashion Puletua took a one handed catch and strolled over for a very sharp try. Campbell converted to put the score at 12-6 where it would stay up to half time.
The Panthers levelled shortly after the break through a strong effort from Waterhouse before the Raiders grabbed the lead back in the 61st minute through a Robertson breakaway.
The real turning point came in the 68th minute with Canberra leading 18-16. The Raiders were awarded a penalty out in front and chose to take the tap instead of going for the shot at goal.
In the set of six that followed Amos Roberts took an intercept and ran 90 metres to put the Panthers in front. Three more tries followed for the Panthers before full time to blow the Raiders out of the water.
Scorers: RAIDERS Tries: Monaghan, Woolford, Robertson Goals: Schifcofske 3/4 PANTHERS Tries: Rooney 2, Puletua, Waterhouse, Gower, Roberts, Ross Goals: Campbell 3/7
By the clock: 0 min: Kick-off! Friday night footy and round 2 are underway.
1st min: NEWS - Penrith have conceded the first penalty in only the first minute giving the Raiders an early attacking opportunity.
3rd min: TRY - Raiders. Mark McLinden put a precision kick in behind the Panthers line for Monaghan to run on to and score. Schifcofske converts - Raiders 6-0.
5th min: NEWS - It's been a horror start for the Panthers conceding 4 penalties and a try within the first five minutes.
6th min: NEWS - Luke Priddis was penalised for stripping the ball in a 2 man tackle giving Clinton Schifcofske an easy penalty goal attempt in front, 20 metres out which he missed.
9th min: TRY - Raiders. Simon Woolford scored a try through pure strength brushing off two front rowers and dragging Gower and Wesser over the line to score. Schifcofske converts - Raiders 12-0.
12th min: TRY - Panthers. Luke Rooney was put into space out wide, he drew in the winger and the fullback and gave Puletua an easy run to the line. Campbell converts - Raiders 12-6.
15th min: NEWS - Simon Woolford has been put on report for a high tackle on Joel Clinton who has been taken from the field.
20th min: NEWS - Canberra will have pleased Matthew Elliot up to this point completing 10 out of 10 sets.
25th min: NEWS - Canberra have narrowly been denied another try. The Raiders threw it out wide to Monaghan who scored in the corner but nicked the touch line with his boot in the process.
27th min: NEWS - The Penalty count is now stacking up against the Panthers at 5-3.
30th min: NEWS - The Raiders are starting to build up some pressure with 3 consecutive sets of six and forcing the Panthers into their 3rd line drop out of the night.
32nd min: NEWS - Preston Campbell has relieved the pressure that was building with a 40-20 kick for the Panthers.
36th min: NO TRY - A bit of controversy here. The Panthers scored a try but the video referee was called upon to look for a knock on in the tackle before the try. There was and the try was disallowed but the rule book states that the video referee can't rule on the play before so a try should've been awarded.
40th min: HALF TIME - The Raiders have played a solid half of football striking with two early tries and keeping it tidy from then on. The Panthers though will feel lucky to go to the break just 6 points behind with most of the momentum against them. Half time score - Raiders 12 Panthers 6.
41st min: The second half is underway!
44th min: NEWS - An update on Joel Clinton, he is suffering from concussion and is unlikely to return to the field in this match.
50th min: TRY - Panthers. Trent Waterhouse fended off two Canberra defenders and ran 30 metres to score a great try for Penrith. Campbell converts - 12 all.
51st min: NEWS - Swain has lost the ball for Penrith from the kick-off after a huge hit from Luke Davico.
56th min: NEWS - Penrith are really starting to threaten now playing the ad lib brand of football that made them premiers last year.
61st min: TRY - Raiders. The Panthers dropped the ball; Robertson picked it up and ran 30 metres to put the Raiders back in front. Schifcofske converts - Raiders 18-12.
63rd min: NEWS - Joel Clinton despite thoughts that he would not return is back on the field.
65th min: NEWS - The game is starting to open up now with some loose play from both sides.
67th min: NEWS - The penalty count has now evened up to 7 all and the Panthers are on the prowl.
68th min: TRY - Panthers. Gower ran the football, drifted, span and pushed his way over the line. Campbell fails to convert a relatively easy one - Raiders 18-16.
69th min: NEWS - Trent Waterhouse has dropped the ball in-goal from the kick-off putting the Panthers under pressure.
70th min: NEWS - Canberra were given a penalty right out in front but instead of going for the shot at goal took the tap showing their intent to rap this match up.
72nd min: TRY - Panthers. Canberra will now rue that decision to take the tap as Amos Roberts took an intercept and ran 90 metres to score what could be the winning try. Campbell converts - Panthers 22-18.
76th min: TRY - Panthers. Preston Campbell made a break, offloaded to Lewis who passed inside for Rooney to score and rap up the match. Campbell fails to convert - Panthers 26-18.
79th min: TRY - Panthers. Canberra gave away a penalty from the kick-off and the Panthers made them pay with Rooney scoring another try in the corner. Campbell fails to convert - Panthers 30-18.
80th min: TRY - Panthers. Canberra gave another penalty from the kick-off and this time it was Ben Ross who made them pay barging his way over. Campbell fails to convert again - Panthers 34-18.
FULL TIME - With 12 minutes to go the Raiders were looking at a solid victory but an Amos Roberts intercept try followed by 3 others sealed the deal for the Panthers in an amazing finish. Full time score - Panthers 34 Raiders 18.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - P Campbell (Panthers) 2 - T Waterhouse (Panthers) 1 - L Davico (Raiders) -----------------------------------------