TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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After an early penalty goal to Tigers skipper Brett Hodgson, the first half belonged almost entirely to the Panthers with three tries opening up an 18-2 halftime lead. Plenty of strong Panthers defence (including a few monster hits from Frank Pritchard) combined with a lethargic attacking display from the Tigers contributed to the lop-sided scoreline, with Luke Priddis, Michael Jennings and Maurice Blair all getting their names on the scoresheet before halftime.
Injury hit the Panthers hard though - forwards Adam Woolnough and Trent Waterhouse were both finished for the night before halftime, while Rhys Wesser and Pritchard were also affected during the second half but managed to stay on the field.
The Tigers needed to strike quickly after halftime to get themselves back in the match, but poor attacking options continued to haunt them. A try to Michael Jennings in the 51st minute extended the Panthers lead, and the Tigers looked to have run their race.
The match was settled between the 55th and 75th minutes when the Tigers had basically 20 minutes of solid possession but could only manage one try to Beau Ryan - and even that was thanks to some scrappy play and a lucky kick. The Panthers defence was superb, despite running out of troops on the bench and carrying a couple of injured players in the defensive line.
The Panthers finished the night in style as under-fire prop Tony Puletua crashed through some tired Tigers defenders to set up the final try of the night to Brad Tighe. The final scoreline of 30-8 was a fair reflection of the domination displayed throughout from the visitors, and they