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A brave crowd of 7,667 weathered the conditions as Mother Nature opened the heavens. The wet conditions made ball handling impossible with errors costing both sides possession throughout the match.
Over the past few weeks, the Rugby League community has been rising for Alex McKinnon who sustained a neck fracture in Round 3. The concern immediately rushed to Joel Edwards as he was knocked to ground after heavy contact from Watene Zelezniak. Luckily however, Edwards only sustained a concussion with no issue with his neck.
Mid-way through the first half the Panthers cracked the whitewash first as youngster, Watene Zelezniak scored his first NRL try. Peter Wallace and Dean Whare combined to link with the Panthers winger, Penrith 4-0 leaders.
In the shadows of half time, Josh Mansour was gifted a four-pointer as Jamie Soward placed a floating pass onto his chest. The magical play from the five-eighth in the wet conditions gave the Panthers an 8-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The Raiders posted their only points of the match in the 54th minute as charging front rower, Paul Vaughan finished off a line break from fullback, Anthony Milford. The Raiders made it a 2 point game, 8-6.
Remember the name, Dallin Watene Zelezniak, his speed and skill will see him a future NRL star. The youngster picked up his second try in the final ten minutes as Peter Wallace placed a well weighted kick to the western corner. Penrith extended their lead to 12-6
Soward looked to put the game beyond doubt in the following set from the try, however, his field goal attempt just away from the uprights.
It's credit to the Raiders who kept fighting for points until the full time siren, forcing two line drop outs in the final five minutes. However, it wasn't to be as the Panthers held on to claim a 12-6 victory.
Next week the Panthers will open up Sportingbet Stadium again as they clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday Night. While the Raiders return to the Nation's capital when they battle with the Newcastle Knights.
Penrith Panthers 12 Canberra Raiders 6
Venue: Sportingbet Stadium Penrith
Halftime Score: Penrith Panthers 8 Canberra Raiders 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Peter Wallace
2 points - Josh Mansour
1 point - Shaun Fensom
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
LATE MAIL: Raiders - Sami Sauiluma comes into the side with Bill Tupou ruled out with a hamstring injury. Jarrad Kennedy and Shannon Boyd both ruled out with illness which sees Jake Foster start and Kyle O'Donnell added to the bench.
LATE MAIL: Panthers - Ivan Cleary has announced no changes to the team named on Tuesday. Dallin Watene Zelezniak will make his NRL debut on the wing this afternoon
Welcome to LeagueUnlimited's LIVE COVERAGE from Sportingbet Stadium in Penrith as the Panthers host the Canberra Raiders in the second of three fixtures on Super Saturday. It's NRL Heritage Round so both clubs will be sporting special jerseys to celebrate their history. The Panthers will wear a white and brown kit while the Raiders will dawn a jersey which takes leads from the green machine of the 1990s.
Both teams coming out of the sheds now at Sportingbet Stadium, clouds hanging over the ground but no rain yet. Kick off moments away as the bell echos around Penrith.
2: First penalty of the match for a cannonball tackle. Third man in at the legs according to the referee. Jamie Soward finds the sideline and the Panthers march up over halfway
2: Sowards with a bomb to the mouth of the goal posts at the end of the set sees an easy take for Jarrod Croker. The Raiders work it off their goal line for their second set
4: UNFORCED ERROR PENRITH PANTHERS
Dallin Watene Zelezniak makes an unforced error.
Dallin Watene Zelezniak juggles the long pass from Dean Whare and it's dropped. Scrum packs for the Raiders on their own 30 metre line
5: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Jarrod Croker makes an unforced error.
Jarrod Croker unable to take a bullet pass from Jack Wighton. Double knock on ruled as the Panthers attempted to clean up. Scrum for Panthers 10 metres inside Raiders half
6: Time off here with Joel Edwards down knocked out. This doesn't look good for him as the trainers rush on for him.
6: We have an extended delay here in Penrith with Joel Edwards getting stretched off the field after taking heavy contact from Dallin Watene Zelezniak's shoulder in a tackle. The entire Canberra medical staff is on the field assisting for him now.
10: VIDEO REFEREE for the Panthers, Dallin Watene Zelezniak may have his first NRL try
12: The rain has set in now at Penrith as it belts down. The ball will be like a cake of soap as the conditions worsen.
14: INJURY UPDATE: Joel Edwards has sustained a concussion, no issues with the neck
15: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Shaun Fensom makes an unforced error.
Shaun Fensom fumbles the ball as he tried to play the ball quickly, and you can't do that in wet conditions. Panthers with possession through a scrum feed 30 metres out
17: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Dallin Watene Zelezniak. Kick to come.
Dallin Watene Zelezniak claims his first NRL try as the Panthers spread across field through Peter Wallace and Dean Whare. Whare held the pass and linked with his winger to score in the corner.
19: UNFORCED ERROR PENRITH PANTHERS
Sam McKendry makes an unforced error.
Sam McKendry with a shocking play of the ball in the wet conditions sees the Raiders get a scrum from the kick restart. Canberra attack 30 metres out
20: VIDEO REFEREE for the Raiders, we have a NO TRY. Looking at onside and grounding
20: NO TRY is ruled as Anthony Milford was ruled to have knocked on in the act of scoring. The Panthers will come away with a scrum feed.
21: 40/20 PENRITH PANTHERS
Jamie Soward kicks a 40/20.
Jamie Soward with a long kick downfield and nails the 40/20. The Panthers rush downfield to take a quick take but Jamal Idris failed to take it correctly. Panthers 10 metres out
25: Penalty to the Raiders as the Panthers continued with the tackle. However, the kick for touch from the Raiders failed to find the sideline. But before the Panthers could use it Watene Zelezniak fumbled the ball. So after all that, it's ZERO TACKLE for the Raiders 35 metres out
27: High tackle from Josh Manour on Anthony Milford as he took the Soward kick. It wasn't the best kick on the end of the set as the fullback claimed it easily. The Raiders kick for touch and attack 30 metres off their own try line
29: Penrith earn a penalty for a slow play of the ball release. Panthers with possession just inside their own half
30: Play resumes with Milford returning to the Raiders defensive line. Line drop out gets play back underway.
31: VIDEO REFEREE for the Panthers, NO TRY is the call as Jamal Idris slide over after a Mansour mistake
31: NO TRY is ruled as Josh Mansour knocked on in the lead up as he was tackled on the last. Idris denied as the Raiders get a scrum feed inside their own half
32: Raiders earn a penalty for the Panthers caught offside. The Raiders march up over the halfway line.
34: Mistake from the Panthers gives the Raiders a crack inside the Panthers 20 metre zone
36: UNFORCED ERROR PENRITH PANTHERS
Josh Mansour makes an unforced error.
Josh Mansour jumped off the defensive line looking for an intercept as he stopped the flick pass from Anthony Milford. However, the wet conditions see him fumble the ball. Scrum for the Raiders 16 metres out
37: KNOCK ON! Dale Tilse has been crunched by James Segeyaro and the ball pops free. Scrum for Panthers
38: Time off here as both teams come racing together. Lewis Brown taking exception to something said
38: Penalty to the Panthers as Lewis Brown received an elbow in the face in the ruck.
39: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Josh Mansour. Kick to come.
Josh Mansour has charged over in the corner as he took a pin-point floating pass from Jamie Soward. A magical play in the wet conditions as the five-eighth links with his winger.
40: HALF TIME at Sportingbet Stadium in Penrith, the Panthers lead the Raiders 8-0
40: Second half is UNDERWAY as Reece Robinson kicks off for the Raiders as they trail the Panthers by 8 points
41: A loose carry from the Raiders sees the Panthers go on the attack. Matt Allwood coming up with the mistake
42: Line drop out is called for the Raiders as the Panthers place a great grubber kick off the boot from Soward
43: Dallin Watene Zelezniak came flying into the western corner as he raced down the sideline hoping to take a catch of a Peter Wallace kick. Raiders scrum feed as Watene Zelezniak took the ball over the sideline
44: Penalty awarded to the Raiders as the Panthers were caught inside the 10 metres. The Raiders attack 35 metres out after the kick for line from Terry Campese.
45: Penalty to the Panthers as the Raiders continued after the held call. Jamal Idris rushed to offload in goal and Matt Moylan managed to get out of the in goal area. Penrith kick for line and march up to the 30 metre line.
53: Jamie Soward just misses a 40/20 as he fired it towards the western sideline. Bounces and the Raiders have a scrum feed deep in their own half
54: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Paul Vaughan. Kick to come.
Paul Vaughan has been awarded a four-pointer as the video referee checked on obstruction as he charged off a short pass from Anthony Milford. Milford split the defence of the Panthers as he bolted 35 metres.
57: UNFORCED ERROR PENRITH PANTHERS
Matt Moylan makes an unforced error.
Matt Moylan unable to take a cross field kick from Peter Wallace, knock on is called as the Raiders get a scrum feed in their own half
65: Peter Wallace stabs a kick downfield, just bounces inside the sideline. Scrum for the Raiders deep in the Panthers half
68: Paul Vaughan has a concern with his shoulder as he went into a tackle. He remains on the field
70: Dean Whare is forced over the sideline as the last tackle play from the Panthers spread to the right of the field. Change over for the Raiders
70: David Shillington has coughed up possession, the wet conditions still making handling a challenge. Panthers attack 10 metres out
71: TRY PENRITH PANTHERS
Scored by Dallin Watene Zelezniak. Kick to come.
Dallin Watene Zelezniak has his second NRL try as he took a brilliant cross field kick from Peter Wallace and he scores untouched in the corner.
75: Penalty to the Raiders, the Panthers offside on the goal line. The Raiders with a full set 10 metres out
76: Sika Manu is trapped in goal as he cleaned up the grubber. Line drop out for the Panthers, giving the Raiders a repeat set
78: Jamie Soward forces the kick from Campese dead. Another line drop out and the Raiders still with a chance here
79: Adam Docker is penalised. Raiders attack 10 metres out from the Panthers goal line
80: The Raiders unable to crack the Panthers defensive line on the try line. Jamal Idris came up with an intercept which shut down any play as the siren sounded.
80: FULL TIME at Sportingbet Stadium sees the Panthers remain with a 100% winning record at home, defeating the Raiders 12-6 in wet conditions in the west of Sydney.