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A tough battle at CUA Stadium tonight in front of nearly 16,000 rather vocal supporters has seen the Panthers back up from Monday night football to defeat the Wests Tigers by 42 to 22.
Although the scoreline may dictate otherwise, the Panthers certainly did not have an easy road to their victory, and until the last eight minutes of the match, the game could've gone either way.
The home side certainly started the game on fire, and it was only 5 minutes into the match before they were rewarded with the first of their 6 tries for the match when Luke Lewis burst thru a hole in the defence to score. The Tigers lost their fullback Maltzen early in the match with a dislocated elbow, and replacement Hanbury proved to be excellent back up, scoring 2 tries.
Both sides played some open style football and the halftime score of 22-12 to the Panthers certainly indicated that the 2nd half was going to be a cracker. Lewis had left the field with a sternum injury and the Tigers looked to have the momentum in the 2nd half locking up the score at 22 all with 15 minutes to go.
Whether it was coincidence or not, once Lewis returned to the field, the tide turned and the Panther put on 20 unanswered point to finish the game on a roll, with Michael Gordon managing 9/9 kicks tonight, making his total 25 consecutive kicks.
Round 5 sees the Panthers set to take on Melbourne while the Tigers face Manly.
Penrith Panthers: 42 defeat Wests Tigers: 22 Round 4 - Saturday April 4th, 2009 5:30pm Venue: CUA Stadium, Penrith Referee: Ben Cummins & Phil Haines Sideline Officials: Adam Reid & Peter Kirby Video Referee: Russell Smith Crowd: 15,813 Halftime: Panthers 22 Tigers 12
Penrith Panthers 42 Tries: Luke Lewis, Jarrod Sammut, Michael Jennings, Frank Pritchard, Wade Graham, Lachlan Coote Goals: Michael Gordon (9/9)
Wests Tigers 22 Tries: Keith Galloway, Rhys Hanbury (2), Taniela Tuiaki Goals: Benji Marshall (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Petero Civoniceva (Panthers) 2 Points: Frank Pritchard (Panthers) 1 Point: Luke Lewis (Panthers)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Good crowd for both sides at CUA Stadium. The Panthers hoping to back up well from their Monday night game against Manly.
1 min: Marshall starts the game with a shallow kick off, nabbed by Coote and suddenly Penrith are hot on attack.
3 min: The Tigers survive the early onslaught by the Panthers. Maltzen the Tigers fullback, has left the field with an arm injury.
5 min: TRY Penrith Panthers The Panthers looking sharp early in the match, as Lewis slips thru the defence to score close to the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 6-0
7 min: Marshall makes a mistake from the kick off, out on the full.
9 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Lewis with pin point accuracy, puts kick in goal which Sammut flies thru to grab. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 12-0
14 min: TRY Wests Tigers Marshall breaks the line down the sideline and puts a deft little kick in field, tapped back by Morris to Galloway who did well to back up. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. Penrith Panthers 12-6
19 min: The Tigers give away a penalty on the fifth tackle, then marched 10 metres for back chat.
20 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith Panthers 35 metres out, right in front and Gordon makes no mistake. Penrith Panthers 14-6
23 min: TRY Wests Tigers Hanbury scores his 1st ever NRL try after great play on attack, after Frank Puletua makes a mistake from the kick off. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. Penrith Panthers 14-12
27 min: NO TRY - PANTHERS A mistake by the Tigers in front of the Penrith line, and the pressure on the Tigers defence is tested. Lewis on the 5th puts the kick to his winger Elford, who looks to have scored. Replay shows he missed the catch.
29 min: TRY Penrith Panthers A 40 metre break by Waterhouse is supported superbly by Jennings who runs away for the try under the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 20-12
30 min: Mistakes by both sides is this action packed match.
35 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith Panthers Back to back penalties and quick plays has the Tigers scrambling defence holding on. The decision to take the kick is rewarded. Penrith Panthers 22-12
39 min: Jennings looks to take off down the sideline but called back for a forward pass.
40 min: Penalty awarded to the Tigers who look to attack. Unfortunately Payton drops the ball on the 1st tackle.
HALFTIME: Both sides playing attacking football with the Panthers out in the front at the break.
41 min: Coote starts the 2nd half for the Panthers
45 min: Fifth tackle option for the Panthers, unfortunately the kick thru by Lewis was too hard and the ball goes over the dead ball line.
47 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT - Panthers Nice break by Jennings to set up play, although the Tigers defence holds.
48 min: Hanbury, the makeshift fullback for the Tigers, does well under the high ball as the Panthers charge thru.
51 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT - TIGERS. Good attacking pressure by the Tigers.
52 min: NO TRY - TIGERS. The pass to Halatau called forward after it looked as tho he had scored.
54 min: Crowd figure - 15,813
57 min: TRY Wests Tigers Farah breaks thru the marker defence and high tails it down the field. Hanbury flying in support, scores his 2nd try of the evening. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful. Penrith Panthers 22-18
60 min: Lewis off the field with a sternum injury, set to return for the last twenty minutes. Momentum with the Tigers at the moment.
63 min: TRY Wests Tigers Farah once again involved as he drifts across the defence, setting up Tuiaki who steamrolls Coote to score wide out. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful. 22 all
69 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith Panthers Pritchard busts thru the line and the Panthers were 1 pass away from scoring. Hanbury penalised for lifting Pritchard's foot in the tackle, fortunate not to be binned. The Panthers decide on the 2 points. Penrith Panthers 24-22
72 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Lewis back on the field has made a difference. A great run by Jennings down the sideline following a Lewis pass, sets up Pritchard for the points. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 30-22
74 min: Short kick off by the Tigers works well as they get the scrum 40 metres out from their line.
77 min: TRY Penrith Panthers A high up and under kick by Sammut rewards Graham with a try. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 36-22
79 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Coote finishes off some great play by the forwards to blow out the scoreline. Gordon finishes with 25 straight kicks as he nets 9/9 tonight. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 42-22
FULLTIME: A blowout in the scoreline in the last 8 minutes flatters the Panthers as it was a tough match, but a good win.