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The Penrith Panthers have run out winners here tonight by 30 points to 24 over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Penrith Stadium in front of a good Rugby League crowd of 15,300.
After a sluggish beginning, which saw the Rabbitohs rack up a good lead of 10-6 early on, the Panthers climbed into the contest at around the 29th minute when Luke Rooney scored out wide. At that point the home side took the lead by 14-10 and never looked back.
With a late first half try to Craig Gower in the 38th minute, Penrith were looking good at 18-10 when both teams headed for the sheds.
The second half was a different story with Johnny Lang obviously having a few words to say about complacency during the spell. Either that or the oranges were really good because Penrith came out all guns blazing in the second half to take the lead to 30-10 through tries to Galuvao, who grabbed three for the night, and Rooney who got a double.
However, Souths staged somewhat of a revival around the 60th minute with MacDougall grabbing two and Kativerata another to bringing the scores back to 30-24. The kicking all was quite poor, with Girdler missing four and Smith three.
But the Panthers hung on to run out winners by 30-24 and consolidating the lead they achieved last night on the top of the premiership table.
Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Year Awards
3 ? J. Galuvao (Panthers) 2 ? L. Rooney (Panthers) 1 ? L. MacDougall (Rabbitohs)
Saturday 12 July 2003 7:30 PM Penrith Football Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Scorers: PANTHERS Tries: Galuvao 3, Rooney 2, Gower Goals: Girdler 3/7 RABBITOHS Tries: MacDougall 2, Hart, Fa'alago, Kativerata Goals: Smith 2/5
By the clock
Colin Ward and Trent Waterhouse out through injury.
4 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Andrew Hart dives over from short range to open the account for the Rabbitohs. Souths lead 4-nil.
4 min: Justin Smith converts to take the lead to 6-nil in favour of the Rabbitohs.
6 min: Video referee disallows a try to the home side.
6 min: Jason Death in some trouble with a neck injury and being removed from the field.
7 min: Video referee disallows another try to the Panthers.
10 min: TRY - Panthers. Rampaging formward Joe Galuvao storms over for the home side's firt 4-pointer. Souths lead 6-4.
11 min: Ryan Girdler kicks his 500th goal to add the extra's without any hassles.
14 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. David Fa'alago goes in for the visitors. Souths starting to rattle the Panthers, and lead 10-6.
15 min: Smith misses a difficult kick from out wide. Souths still lead 10-6.
29 min: TRY - Panthers. Luke Rooney goes in out wide for the Penny and locks up the scores at 10-all. Girds misses the conversion. Scores remain 10-all between the Rabbitohs and the Panthers.
34 min: TRY - Panthers. Rooney bags a double for the home side, with the Panthers taking the lead for the first time at 14-10.
35 min: Girdler misses his second for the night. Panthers still lead 14-10.
37 min: Shane Rigon given 10 minutes in the bin for an indiscretion.
38 min: TRY - Panthers. Penrith starting to take contol after Gower goes in. Girdler misses his fourth attempt from a difficult position. Girds not having a happy night after kicking his 500th goal earlier in the match. Panthers lead 18-10 at half time.
Penrith starting to get on top here tonight after a slow start. Rooney playing well, so are the Penrith forwards.
46 min: TRY - Panthers. Galuvao in for his second as the Panthers pick up where they left off in the first half. Girdler misses another, Penrith lead 22-10.
47 min: Rigon back on the field for the Bunnies.
53 min: TRY - Panthers. Galuvao goes in for his hat-trick of tries. Panthers lead 26-10.
54 min: Girds pots one and takes the lead out to 28-10.
57 min: Penalty goal to Ryan Girdler takes the scores to Penrith 30 Souths 10.
60 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Luke Macdougall goes in fot the Bunnies. Smith misses the conversion. Scoreline Panthers 30 Rabbitohs 14.
63 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Wise Kativerata adding some respectibility with a try for the Bunnies and not leaving them without a chance. Panthers lead 30-18.
65 min: Smith converts for Souths. Penrith 30 Souths 20.
68 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. MacDougall in for his second as the Mighty Rabbitohs stage a brave comeback. Smith misses another and the scores are Penrith 30 South Sydney 24.
Panthers hang on to win in front of 15,300 fans. Souths tried hard and revived their hopes in the second half to little avail with the home team winning 30-24.