Panthers out grind Titans and jump back into top eight

It wasn't pretty but Penrith coach Ivan Cleary won't mind after his side won a 14-12 grind over Gold Coast at Sportingbet Stadium tonight.

As has been the case throughout most matches in 2014 involving Gold Coast the result hung into the balance right up until the moment Titans halfback Albert Kelly bombed to the corner in the 80th minute.

Luckily for the Panthers and their supporters his kick was too long and Panthers winger Josh Mansour claimed possession to secure the win.

It was a match built on the back of superb defence from the home side who defended their line with plenty of scrambling defence.

Panthers halfback and man of the match Peter Wallace told Fox Sports following the game it was pleasing for the Panthers to return to the top eight after seven rounds.

It kept their win-loss-win-loss record in tact.

"We definitely made it hard for ourselves at the end and we knew the Titans would play the whole 80 minutes and it was good for us to win a grind like that.

"Our attack hasn't been that sharp, but we defended well."

The Panthers opened the scoring in the eighth minute through centre Dean Whare who finished off what appeared to be a simple backline move to the right hand side.

Five-eighth Jamie Soward held up the final pass until the gap in the Titans defence opened up and Whare won the race to the corner.

In the 30th minute the Panthers extended their lead to a converted try when fullback Matt Moylan scored his first try of the year in unusual circumstances.

On just play two Soward kicked into the in-goal for prop Sam McKendry before Titans fullback David Mead and hooker Beau Falloon spilled the ball under the posts, allowing Moylan to dive on the ball and score an opportunistic try.

Titans interchange forward Ryan James closed the gap to a converted try in the shadows of halftime when he burrowed over from close range.

A Soward penalty goal looked likely to be the only points of a dour second stanza until Titans five-eighth Aidan Sezer gave his side a glimmer of hope when he latched onto a grubber kick from halves partner Kelly to score alongside the posts 

The Titans then had a chance to win the match in the 80th minute but Kelly's cross-field kick would have too much weight on it and the Panthers held on. Next week Penrith head to the Shire for a clash with last-placed Cronulla, while the Titans will lick their wounds before heading to Leichhardt Oval for a clash with the Wests Tigers on Sunday.


Match Details
Penrith Panthers 14 Gold Coast Titans 12
Venue: Sportingbet Stadium Penrith
Crowd: 9555
Halftime Score: Penrith Panthers 12 Gold Coast Titans 6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Peter Wallace
2 points - Jamal Idris
1 point - Matt Moylan

PENRITH PANTHERS (14)
Tries: Dean Whare, Matt Moylan
Conversions: Jamie Soward (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)

GOLD COAST TITANS (12)
Tries: Ryan James, Aidan Sezer
Conversions: Aidan Sezer (2/2)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Easter Round 7 of the Telstra Premiership wraps up at Sportingbet Stadium at the foot of the mountains tonight when the Panthers host the Titans. Awaiting team changes, but when they come through we'll bring them to you.

Gold Coast are as per program.

David Simmons is in for Watene Zelezniak and Tim grant in for Sam McKendry who rolled his ankle at training yesterday. Nigel Plum comes onto the bench in jersey 19.

Gold Coast head out onto Sportingbet Stadium led by Greg Bird and head to the southern end of the ground.

Kevin Kingston leads the Panthers out in their all black home strip in front of what looks to be a healthy crowd for a Monday night.

1: We're underway with Moylan putting boot to ball.

1: PENALTY Titans. Taylor is picked up and put in a dangerous position. Sezer finds touch.

2: Kelly grubbers into the in-goal, but Moylan picks up the loose ball on his own tryline.

3: Wallace clears on the last and Mead is tackled 40m from his own line on tackle one.

4: Panthers on the attack after Mead put down Bird's pass.

6: PENALTY Panthers. Sezer all over Moylan in the ruck.

7: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Dean Whare. Kick to come.

Whare scores on the right hand side as the Panthers swiftly moved the ball to that side. Fairly simple try in the end with Soward putting a perfect pass onto the chest of his centre.

8: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PENRITH PANTHERS
Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward adds the extras from the sideline.

11: Sezer goes to the air and a bit of scrappy play sees Mansour with the ball.

12: Simmons chips over the top on the last tackle and appeared likely to score before a trysaver from Bird prevents him from doing so. Titans ball.

13: Sezer attempts a 40/20 which is half charged down and Moylan is held onto by his shorts otherwise he was off for the prize at the other end.

15: Gordon latches onto the cross-field kick from Soward and Moylan picks him up before he hits top gear.

16: Don knocks Sezer's bomb on and it will be a Panthers changeover.

16: Mansour has a bullocking run and Bird jolts the ball loose. Titans on the attack.

17: Great goal line defence from the Panthers sees Falloon pulled up short of the line. Panthers with the ball.

17: PENALTY Panthers. Titans offside.

19: Soward kicks to the corner and Don comes up with a good catch. Is Don is good.

19: PENALTY Titans. Panthers too long in the ruck.

20: Face ball from Kelly is put down. Panthers with possession.

21: PENALTY Panthers. Sezer interfering in the ruck.

24: PENALTY Titans. Panthers chasers offside from the Soward kick.

24: White drops the ball on the first play and the Panthers now go on the attack.

25: PENALTY Panthers. Titans going on with the tackle for too long.

26: Plum looks for an offload and Moylan puts it down.

26: PENALTY Titans. Segeyaro goes on with the tackle for too long.

28: Sezer goes to the air and Idris has an airswing before he forces it in front of Takairangi. Panthers dropout.

28: Sezer goes to the air and Idris has an airswing before he forces it in front of Takairangi. Panthers dropout.

30: Sezer kicks for Gordon who can't reel the ball in. Panthers restart.

31: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Matt Moylan. Kick to come.

Moylan scores on of the most unusual tries you're ever likely to see. Wallace kicked into the in-goal and Mead juggled it into teammate Paul Carter who tried to kick the ball dead. Unfortunately for the Titans he kicked it across the tryline and Moylan won the race to the ball.

31: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PENRITH PANTHERS
Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward adds the extras from alongside the posts.

34: The Panthers run the ball on the last and some scrambling defence from the Titans prevents the try.

35: PENALTY Titans. Panthers offside.

36: Kelly grubbers into the in-goal. Mansour with the ball, Don forces the dropout.

37: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Ryan James. Kick to come.

Ryan James crashes over from close range after a clever inside pass from Carter as the visitors applied pressure to the Panthers goal-line defence.

39: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.

Sezer adds the extras to close the gap to six in the shadows of halftime.

40: Sezer looks for a 40/20 but the kick is charged down and rolls into touch.

40: Halftime at Sportingbet Stadium and the Panthers lead the Titans 12-6.

40: Both sides back out on the paddock and the Titans will get us back underway for the second stanza.

41: Simmons chips on the last and Gordon picks up the ball and the Titans go on the attack early.

42: Carter runs the ball on the last and is dragged down just short. Panthers ball in the corner.

43: PENALTY Panthers. The locals get the home side a penalty for Titans inside the 10.

44: Soward hooks a bomb back to the right and Sezer comes up with a good catch.

45: PENALTY Titans. Two in the tackle and the ball is ruled to have been stripped.

45: Sezer finds touch 20m from the Panthers line.

46: Good sliding defence from the Panthers and Don is bundled into touch on the first tackle.

48: The Panthers let Kelly's spiral bomb bounce but luckily it goes into Simmons' lap. Panthers over halfway on tackle three.

50: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Panthers try.

50: PENALTY Panthers. Takairangi is ruled to have taken Idris out, and it is ruled No try. Soward knocks on as he attempted the tackle on Carter.

51: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL PENRITH PANTHERS
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Soward successful.

Soward puts the home side out by more than a converted try.

52: PENALTY Panthers. James ruled to have tackled Peachey fractionally high.

54: Segeyaro tries to burrow over from dummy half but the Titans defence forces the error.

55: PENALTY Titans. Harrison ruled to have had the ball stripped in a two man tackle. Replays suggest the refs got that one wrong.

56: Kelly loses the ball in the tackle and no penalty is forthcoming. Panthers scrum.

57: PENALTY Titans. Panthers interfering in the play the ball.

59: Sezer attempts to kick into the in-goal and Wallace gets in the way.

60: Razzle dazzle from the Panthers on tackle five and Wallace runs into the back of the defence looking for a penalty. Titans on the attack.

61: PENALTY Panthers. White picks up Docker and puts him head first into the ground. Nasty looking tackle.

62: Peachey grubbers into the in-goal and almost wins the race to the ball but Taylor bats the ball dead. Titans dropout.

65: Panthers let the bomb bounce again and Moylan touches it. Six more for the Titans.

66: Wallace rips the ball out of Falloon's grasp and the Titans have six more.

66: Kelly loses the ball in the tackle as the Panthers show some desperation in defence

69: The Panthers throw the ball to the right and Idris throws an unnecessary pass which is dived on by the Titans.

69: Mansour hit in a high tackle which he appeared to duck into.

70: PENALTY Panthers. Kelly is the culprit to suffer the referees wrath.

71: PENALTY Titans. Simmons takes Gordon out and prevents him from getting a good catch on the bomb.

72: Takairangi kicks for himself and kicks it again into the in-goal. Mansour kicks it dead. Panthers dropout.

73: James charges onto Bird's short pass from dummy half and puts it down. Panthers scrum.

75: PENALTY Titans. Sika Manu is penalised in possession after Bird appears to grab him with a squirrel grip.

76: PENALTY Titans. Idris loses the ball into Mansour in an offside position.

77: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Aidan Sezer. Kick to come.

Sezer scores the try to give the Titans a chance after latching onto a Kelly grubber. Moylan attempted to bat it dead, but only did so into Sezer.

78: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.

Sezer wastes little time adding the extras.

78: Bird pops the pass which finds Latimore. Panthers on halfway.

79: Forward pass from Panthers out of dummy half. Titans scrum 45m from their own line.

80: Kelly kicks across field and it's too long.

80: Fulltime at Sportingbet Stadium and the Panthers 14 have defeated the Titans 12.

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