Panthers make miracle comeback

The Penrith Panthers have made a miraculous second half comeback to down the Newcastle Knights today 34-30 at Energy Australia Stadium.

It was the home side who skipped away to a 24-6 halftime lead after a hat-trick to Knights winger Akuila Uate. Penrith were the first to score through Coote to lead 6-0 but from there on it was all the Knights.

Knights halfback Scott Dureau played a huge part with a great 40/20, an allround great kicking game and perfect with the boot.

Matt Elliott's words at halftime must have been motivating as the Panthers game out all guns blazing scoring after two minutes.

The Panthers were a different outfit, throwing the ball around and their expansive play paying off with tries to Jennings, McKendry, Lewis and Coote in quick succession to get the scores level at 24-24.

At this stage it was anyones game and with a mistake by Paulo only metres out, Mullen scored from the scrum and the Knights were leading by six with ten minutes remaining.

Penrith's luck continued with a Walsh chip being collected by Paulo and after numerous looks by video ref Paul Simpkins it was awarded benefit of the doubt. Gordon slotted the pressure kick from out wide to level it up.

With only minutes remaining Dureau had a field goal attempt from 40 metres out which missed just to the left of the uprights to give Penrith one last chance of the football.

Walsh was setup to kick a field goal but stepped left, passed it out wide to finally find Purtell who crossed over in the 80th minute to seal the fairytale comeback for the Panthers.

Match Details
Newcastle Knights 30 were defeated by Penrith Panthers 34
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 4 - Monday April 5, 2010 4:00pm
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Bernard Sutton
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Daniel Munro
Crowd: 15894
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 24 Penrith Panthers 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Luke Walsh
2 Points - Michael Jennings (1 Try)
1 Point - Akuila Uate (3 Tries)

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (30)
Tries: Jarrod Mullen, Cory Paterson, Akuila Uate (3)
Conversions: Scott Dureau (5/5)

PENRITH PANTHERS (34)
Tries: Luke Lewis, Adrian Purtell, Michael Jennings, Sam McKendry, Lachlan Coote, Joseph Paulo
Conversions: Michael Gordon (5/6)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to the first game of Easter Monday's double header. Here we have the Newcastle Knights taking on the Penrith Panthers from Energy Australia Stadium. Both teams are coming off back to back losses and will be looking to get back on the winners sheet today. Earlier in Toyota Cup, the Knights got home 44-28 in a high scoring affair.
LATE NEWS - For the Panthers, Frank Pritchard & Frank Puletua have been included on the bench with Plum and Cooper out. Bell and Smith to start in the backrow. The Knights are as per programmed.
1 min: We're underway, the Knights receiving the ball.
3 min: End to end stuff so far with both sides giving away early penalties.
7 min: NO TRY - Knights. Corey Paterson knocked on before the line with McDonnell denied a try. Scrum Panthers
9 min: INJURY - Isaac De Gois taken off injured after going in awkwardly for a tackle on Tim Grant.
12 min: Penrith giving away 4 penalties. Knights had a chance 15m out but Mullen drops it.
18 min: Alot of dropped ball in this game so far, both sides completions rates are average.
20 min: TRY
Luke Walsh puts a little grubber in, bounces off Dureau into Cootes hands and scores brushing the upright. Michael Gordon converts from infront.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
23 min: TRY
Uate scores in the corner for the Knights and in the collision Brad Tighe has been knocked out. He is very groggy.
The conversion from the sideline is successful.
6 all
27 min: TRY
Uate has scored a 95m try as the Panthers were attacking the Knights line, dropped ball from Purtell, scooped up by Uate and no-one could catch him. Dureau converts.
Newcastle Knights 12-6
32 min: Penrith are playing dreadful. 4 forward passes coming out of their own end. Their own worst enemy.
34 min: TRY
And the Knights capitalize on the Panthers mistakes. Paterson stretches out to score.
Newcastle Knights 18-6
37 min: Dureau kicks a brilliant 40/20 to give the Knights another chance to score before halftime.
39 min: TRY
Uate scores in the corner and seals a first half hatrick before halftime. Knights dominating here, Panthers have not turned up to play. Dureau from the sideline converts.
Newcastle Knights 24-6
40 min: Halftime and the Knights lead 24-6. The Panthers will have to hope for a miracle to get back into this one.
42 min: TRY
Panthers start the second half like a completely different team. Walsh puts a massive bomb up, McDonnell drops it, Jennings scoops it up and runs away to score in the corner for his first try of 2010. Gordon from the sideline converts
Newcastle Knights 24-12
44 min: NO TRY - Knights. The Knights create an overlap, Cooper Vuna dives for the corner but a great try saving tackle from Coote and Jennings forces the ball loose in the corner.
50 min: TRY
The Panthers receive back to back sets and McKendry scores from close range after an inside ball from Kingston. Gordon slots it over and Penrith are back in it
24-18
57 min: The Knights blow a great opportunity dropping the ball on the 2nd tackle 5 metres out.
62 min: TRY
An unbelievable try scored by the Panthers, Walsh puts it in the ingoal, it looks like its going dead, the ball suddenly turned at right angles and move along parallel with the dead ball line and Lewis pounced on it to score. Gordon keeps his perfect record intact, converting the try. Were level!
24 all
68 min: McDonnell tackled a metre out of the Panthers line on the 6th tackle. This is anyones game.
69 min: TRY
Paulo drops the ball 10 metres out to give Knights a gift opportunity and Mullen outruns Lewis to put the Knights into the lead. Dureau puts it over the black dot.
Newcastle Knights 30-24
71 min: A massive bomb from Walsh puts Uate under pressure but he drops it and Tighe nearly scores. Goal-line dropout to the Knights.
73 min: TRY
Walsh puts up a little chip kick, Paulo makes up for his dropped ball earlier on, taking a beautiful catch to dive over the line to score. Video ref Simpkins awarded benefit of the doubt. Gordon converts and we are back even!
30 all
78 min: Drop Goal attempt by Dureau from 40m out, just missed. Panthers may have one last crack.
80 min: TRY
Adrian Purtell scores the match-winner for the Panthers after a break from Jennings and Pritchard linking up to be brought down inches short. Purtell scores off the next play. What an amazing comeback, Gordon misses
Penrith Panthers 34-30
80 min: Well, what a contrast of halves for the Panthers. They were playing atrociously in the first half, Knights had the game pretty much wrapped up. They came out firing after a Matt Elliott rev up and were playing out of their skin. Very entertaining second half saw Penrith complete a miracle and win their second game of the season. Unlucky for Newcastle as it's a game they should have won.

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