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The Penrith Panthers have heavily defeated a hapless Raiders outfit 36-10 at Centrebet Stadium.
A match hyped as the 1991 grand final replay proved anything but as the Raiders came out with a distinct lack of intensity and never recovered from a string of early errors.
The Raiders were penalized after just two minutes and from the ensuing set a Luke Walsh cut out pass found the Raiders grossly short on their right edge defense as David Simmons dived over to open the scoring. Gordon made it 6-0 as his kick swung in off the upright.
Shortly after Blake Ferguson knocked the ball on just 10m out from his own line, gifting the Panthers a great chance. Though they didn't get their try on the ensuing set, they didn't have to wait long. On 11 minutes a perfectly weighted kick from Travis Burns rolled between Vidot and Ferguson. The latter dived forward to collect the ball but missed completely, allowing Simmons to pick up the loose ball and run over for his second of the evening.
The Raiders narrowed the gap to 8 points when Orford and Ferguson combined to send Reece Robinson over in the corner and seemingly put the Raiders back into the contest.
However, they were dealt a major blow just six minutes later as Travis Burns was awarded a controversial try. A Walsh grubber was chased by Michael Jennings, who appeared to have knocked the ball forward before being grounded by Burns. The Video Referee disagreed though, giving the Panthers the green light and an 18-4 lead.
Another error 1 minute from half-time gave the Penrith a chance to extend their lead At the end of the set, a bomb aimed for Sandor Earl was taken by Reece Robinson, who streaked 100m downfield to score. However, the try was disallowed -- Robinson rightly penalized for pushing Earl out of the way. Penrith elected to take a penalty goal from the resulting penalty, but Gordon sent it wide of the posts and both teams went to the break with the score at 18-4.
The second half started off well for the Raiders when Daniel Vidot was able to out leap David Simmons score a try in the corner after a nice kick from Josh McCrone. Jarrod Croker nailed the conversion and the Raiders appeared to have a new found attitude.
The Raiders optimism lasted 3 minutes as the Panthers hit back. Michael Gordon made the Raiders defense look like under 8's as he beat about 5 players before offloading the ball to a flying Michael Jennings. With Ferguson closing fast, Jennings got the ball out to a well positioned David Simmons, who completed his hat trick. Gordon again added the extras, much to the annoyance of David Furner.
The Panthers crossed again in the 61st minute after some flimsy defense from the Raiders. Waterhouse must have had spiders on him, because the Raiders didn't want to go near him. He popped a simple offload to Michael Gordon to go over untouched.
The icing on the cake for the Panthers came in the form of blockbusting front rower Petero Civoniceva. The Raiders were caught waiting for the siren as a nice kick from Travis Burns collects the post and Civoniceva couldn't believe his luck as he just dived on the ball. Gordon kicked the goal as the siren sounded in the background.
The Panthers wrapped up the game 36-10 and can look forward to a clash with Melbourne next week. The Raiders will have plenty to look at on tape during the week, and David Furner may be forced to make some changes for their clash against the Cowboys in round 6.
Penrith Panthers 36 defeated Canberra Raiders 10
National Rugby League - Round 5 (Heritage Round) - Saturday April 9, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Centrebet Stadium Penrith
Referee: Gavin Badger and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: David Abood and Jason Walsh
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 18 Canberra Raiders 4
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - David Simmons (3 Tries)
2 Points - Luke Walsh
1 Point - Josh McCrone
Penrith Panthers (36)
Tries: Petero Civoniceva, Travis Burns, David Simmons (3), Michael Gordon
Conversions: Michael Gordon (6/6)
Penalty Goals: Michael Gordon (0/1)
Canberra Raiders (10)
Tries: Reece Robinson, Daniel Vidot
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary It's HERITAGE ROUND - the Panthers will be wearing a retro strip from 1991:
Welcome to tonight's clash between the Panthers and the Raiders. Tonight it's Heritage Round and the Panthers will be looking to turn back the clock as they don their 1991 jerseys -- the year they won their first premiership.
Standing in their way is the Canberra Raiders who will be looking to put behind their incredible implosion last week against the Titans. There will be particular focus on the performance of halfback Matt Orford, who has struggled upon his return to the NRL.
Tonight's team news;
The Panthers welcome back Sam McKendry after a week off. He slots straight into the starting line up with Grant dropping to the bench. Weston, Iosefa and Purtell drop out of the team named on Tuesday.
The Raiders have named James Stuart as the replacement for Joel Thompson after he was ruled out yesterday. The rest of the team is as named on Tuesday.
Panthers kick off. Canberra will have the first possession of the game.
3 min: Both teams have solid first sets.
4 min: Penalty to the Panthers. Take the tap 30m out.
4 min: TRY
A great double cutout pass from Luke Walsh finds David Simmonds, who dives over in the corner.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
6 min: Great first set after points for the Panthers. Ferguson has a bit of a fumble, but regathers.
9 min: Ferguson loses the ball in a tackle close to his line.
10 min: Jennings bombs a try there. Gordon attempts a cut out ball to Simmons, but Jennings sticks his hand up and knocks it on.
11 min: TRY
A fairly ordinary kick puts Ferguson under a lot of pressure and he can't handle the rolling ball. The ball is quickly regathered by Simmons, who puts it down under the posts.
Penrith Panthers 12-0
15 min: Back and forth at the moment. Both teams are getting a few offloads away.
15 min: McKendry called for a trip. Penalty to the Raiders 20m out from the Panthers line.
16 min: Drop out for the Raiders. Good kick there by McCrone.
18 min: TRY
Good work from Orford and Ferguson sees the ball go out to Reece Robinson, who scores in the corner.
Penrith Panthers 12-4
21 min: Petero limps up the tunnel for the Panthers. Looks like an ankle injury.
22 min: Penalty to the Panthers. Raiders held down too long.
24 min: Checking a try to the Panthers.
24 min: TRY
Controversial try for the Panthers. Great kick from Travis Burns is chased by Jennings, who looked to get a touch on the ball after a bad bounce. Burns puts his hands on the ball for a gift of a try.
Penrith Panthers 18-4
26 min: Raiders on the attack and looking dangerous.
28 min: Burns finds the line with a deft kick. Both teams enjoying the break.
28 min: Stuart drops the ball from dummy half. Panthers get a scrum 10m out.
30 min: Penalty to the Raiders. Pressure off for the moment.
31 min: Another penalty to the Raiders. They are attacking the Panthers' line.
34 min: Another penalty to the Raiders. Penrith weren't square at marker.
35 min: It seems like the Raiders have been attacking the Penrith line for the last 10 minutes. Strong defense coupled with ordinary attack keeps the Raiders out again.
37 min: Nice little kick from Tahu earns his side a repeat set.
38 min: Raiders can breathe easy after Penrith lose the ball on the back from some strong defense from Josh Miller.
38 min: Scratch that. Raiders dropped the ball. Penrith back on the attack.
40 min: Checking a try to the Raiders on half time.
40 min: No try. Reece Robinson ruled to have taken out Earl before taking off downfield. Penalty to the Panthers back inside the Raiders 10.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL ATTEMPT
Penalty kick missed by Gordon. That's half time. 18-4 to the Panthers.
Penrith Panthers 18-4
41 min: Back underway in the second half.
42 min: Orford makes an error trying to play the ball. Not the start the Raiders were looking for.
44 min: Penalty to Raiders. Penrith caught offside.
45 min: TRY
Daniel Vidot out leaps Simmonds to score for the Raiders. Nice kick from McCrone.
Penrith Panthers 18-10
48 min: TRY
A great run from Michael Gordon as he beats about 5 Raiders before passing the ball to Michel Jennings. Jennings sprinted downfield, drew Ferguson and passed it on to David Simmonds -- his third for the night.
Penrith Panthers 24-10
52 min: Penalty to the Panthers. Learoyd-Lahrs drifted a little high.
52 min: Panthers drop the ball practically straight away.
53 min: Massive break from Thurling nearly sees the Raiders score. Instead, they get a penalty in great position.
53 min: The Raiders give it straight back after Ferguson passed the ball to a Panther.
56 min: Penrith attacking the Raiders line once more.
56 min: Panthers nearly score but a grubber from Walsh just beats Sandor Earl over the sideline.
58 min: Ferguson down injured for the Raiders.
60 min: Penrith earn themselves 6 more tackles after tackling Orford in goal.
61 min: TRY
Terrible defense from the Raiders. Waterhouse was given plenty of room and got a nice offload to Gordon backing up on the inside to score. Gordon converts his own try.
Penrith Panthers 30-10
66 min: Canberra give away a penalty despite Shillington's disapproval.
67 min: Orford copped a late shot, but no penalty is given.
69 min: Josh McCrone puts an a great chip for himself before spreading the ball out wide. Vidot dives for the corner, but comes up short.
71 min: Orford down again for the Raiders after big Petero falls on him.
71 min: Scrum penalty! Penrith broke too early.
73 min: Penrith knock on on the halfway line. Canberra scrum.
75 min: Raiders are looking disinterested now. Nothing doing in attack right now.
77 min: Penrith get a scrum after Robinson knocks the ball out during an aerial contest.
80 min: TRY
Big Petero gets himself a rare 4 pointer. Travis Burns put in a nice grubber that hits the upright and Petero just dives on the ball.
Gordon kicks the goal as the full time siren sounds.
Penrith Panthers 36-10
80 min: That's full time at Centrebet Stadium. Much like the 1991 grand final, the Panthers are victorious. This time it was 36-10.