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On a very wet Sydney evening, 5,703 of the Penrith faithful braved the condition to see the Panthers convincingly account for the South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 points to 10 at Centrebet Stadium.
The first half saw a classy display from the Panthers in the face of the conditions to set themselves up for a win which might be enough to put their season back on track. Penrith took the lead early and took control of the game in the first half and never looked like getting beaten.
Luke Lewis staked his claims for a sky blue jersey with a fantastic first half, including a try of his own in the forth minute. Luke Walsh with the boot worked with the conditions to sneak the conversion between the posts giving Penrith. The rain and sloppy conditions played a significant role in proceedings heavily affecting the completion rates.
It was a bit of luck and a great effort from Dave Taylor which allowed South Sydney to hit back in the fourteenth minute with a try to replacement winger James Roberts. Sandow failed to convert which left South Sydney with a 2 point deficit which was the closest they came to the lead all game. South Sydney couldn't however hold on to this very long.
Trent Waterhouse crossed in the twentieth minute to extend the Penrith lead, with a try set up by Luke Walsh who had a binder as play making, with superb last tackle options, strategically running the ball on that occasion and maintaining a phenomenal on field kicking game. Walsh did well with the goal kicking too helping further the Penrith lead.
Walsh set up another try minutes later, this to Adrian Purtell in in the corner extending the Penrith lead to 12 with a 16 points to 4 score line they took to half time.
The second half started with a fighting effort from the visiting side. This was converted to points very early with Issac Luke scoring a try out of dummy half in the forty second minute. South Sydney had repeat sets to start the half and made the most of them with the try, Sandow's boot adding the extras to get maximum points from it, these were however South Sydney's last points of the game.
The second half saw sloppy displays from both sides, which although forgivable given the weather, was very scrappy. What kept both sides in the game was that the scrappiness was being reciprocated by the other. In spite of this, both were eager to finish strongly and take the game which was still there to be won in the final quarter.
Penrith finally sealed the game in the seventy first minute with a try that almost wasn't, after brilliant lead up work by Luke Lewis to set up the shot at the line, the effort was taken to video referee Paul Mellor to deliberate whether Iosefa had knocked on, but the evidence showed he had toed it. Lachlan Coote did the rest of the work, pouncing on the ball in goal to score the match sealing try, Wash added the extras and that was enough to put the nail in the South Sydney coffin.
Despite the mathematical possibility of coming back with 8 minutes left to play, South Sydney looked done for the night and were, falling twelve points short. South Sydney took their deficit to full time and Penrith took the 22 - 10 victory, to bring them 2 points shy of the top 8.
Penrith Panthers 22 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 10
National Rugby League - Round 12 - Monday May 30, 2011 7:00pm
Venue: Centrebet Stadium Penrith
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Luke Phillips
Video Referee: Paul Mellor
Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Henry Perenara
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs 4
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Luke Lewis (1 Try)
2 Points - Kevin Kingston
1 Point - Petero Civoniceva
Penrith Panthers (22)
Tries: Luke Lewis, Trent Waterhouse, Adrian Purtell, Lachlan Coote
Conversions: Luke Walsh (3/4)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (10)
Tries: Issac Luke, James Roberts
Conversions: Chris Sandow (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to a very wet Centrebet Stadium for this match to close out round 12 between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. In the Toyota Cup curtainraiser, Penrith took it out in a close one 18 points to 16.
TEAM NEWS: A few changes to report. For the home side, Nigel Plum is out and Nathan Smith replaces him in the run on side. Sarafu Fatiaki in jumper 22 takes the vacated bench spot. Talanoa is out fot the RABBITOHS, he will be replaced in jumper 21 by James Roerts. Jason Clark is out, Deon Apps in his first grade debut takes his place on the bench in jumper 19. 1 min: Panthers kick off and we are underway.
3 min: Rain really playing a part here.
4 min: Kevin Kingston makes a huge bust for the South Sydney defensive line.
5 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers! Luke Lewis in the corner, made the South Sydney defence look ordinary. Walsh with the boot from the sideline, into the rain, hits the posts and sneaks in.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
8 min: Seeing a few errors from both sides now with the rain continuing to affect the game and both sides struggling to make metres.
10 min: Luke Lewis having a great game tonight, really vying for a sky blue jersey here.
12 min: South Sydney struggling in this game, whilst Penrith look very enthusiastic despite the weather.
14 min: Souths get a repeat set when Tyrell dribbles a ball which hits Burns and Souths regather for six again.
16 min: TRY
TRY to the Rabbits. Taylor collects the ball frrom the ricochet and basketballs it over his head to James Roberts to score against the run of play. Sandow fails to convert.
Penrith Panthers 6-4
18 min: PENALTY against Crocker for a high tackle, first penalty of the game thusfar.
19 min: Penrith force a drop out and earn a repeat set.
21 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers! Walsh on the last tackle sidesteps and finds Waterhouse to score. Conversion from Walsh succesful.
Penrith Panthers 12-4
22 min: Panthers getting inventive, running it on the last and looking well on top of this South Sydney side.
23 min: Panthers with a big line break from Coote, run ended by a wonderful try saver from Deon Apps on debut.
25 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers! Walsh having a blinder! Runs the ball again on the last, throws a 20 metre cut out to Brad Tighe to put Purtell in to score. Walsh fails to convert, with his first miss of the night.
Penrith Panthers 16-4
28 min: South Sydney trying to play their way back into the game now, but Penrith still well on top.
31 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible South Sydney TRY.
32 min: NO TRY and Souths are penalised for offside, Penrith are gifted some good field position for Penrith to go back on the attack.
33 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Penrith TRY.
33 min: NO TRY! PENALTY for offside, South Sydney's first penalty of the night.
34 min: Lucky break for Souths, getting a repeat set giving them a good chance to attack.
35 min: Souths kick early in the count, PEnrith look like they could be in trouble, but Coote comes in with a beautiful save.
38 min: PENALTY to South Sydney, another one for offside, puts South Sydney right on the attack and right in the Panthers' red zone, givingthe Bunnies an excellent opportunity to strike before half time.
39 min: South Sydney complete the set poorly gifting the Panthers a 20 metre restart, then conceding a penalty, to piggy back them upfield.
40 min: There goes the hooter, the last tackle of the half have officially been made and Panthers go into the sheds with a 16 - 4 lead.
41 min: Second half under way.
42 min: South Sydney with back to back sets straight up.
43 min: TRY
TRY to the Rabbits! Issac Luke out of dummy half challenges the defenders and gets through them to score. Sandow converts.
Penrith Panthers 16-10
46 min: Waterhouse loses it and South Sydney are looking the more dangerous here in the second half.
48 min: PENALTY to Penrith who will find themselves in great attacking position about 30 out from the South Sydney line.
50 min: Walsh continuing his great night with perfect kicks this half, and now earns a repeat set with a grubber which forces Wesser to play it out.
51 min: Short drop out taken by Penrith 15 out.
52 min: South Sydney's on line defence doing well there before a Penrith knock on goves South Sydney possession.
53 min: PENALTY to South Sydney, a terrible kick for touch from Sandow, the ball does eventually find its way over the sideline, with Penrith plyers.
53 min: PENALTY to Souths right in front, giving them a huge opportunity.
55 min: Penrith defence does well to keep South Sydney out, then earn a scrum, when Sandow's boot on the last doesn't offer anything.
56 min: Jennings is coming off the field with an ankle injury, Farrell is in trouble too, unclear what's wrong, but he was literally pulled off the field by a trainer.
59 min: Souths getting excited, almost put on a length of the field effort after a line drop out from Wesser.
61 min: Into the final quarter of the game and both teams know it, firing and looking for momentum.
62 min: Dave Taylor caught with it on the last, giving it away more cheaply than he would have hoped.
63 min: Knock on called against Sandow. Farrell just came up on the big screen and looks to be in distress in the changing room , also being handed a pain pill, he won't be back tonight.
65 min: Panthers knock on from dummy half to hand South Sydny possession 15 away from half time.
66 min: We're not seeing completed sets any more, Souths knock on to give Penrith a good chance to put some more points on.
67 min: Completed set, but questionable last tackle kick.
67 min: PENALTY to Souths to piggy back them off their line.
68 min: Souths knock it on again, looks like they've forgotten how to complete a set.
70 min: Lachlan Coote safe as houses at the back, earns a PENALTY too from a Merritt strip, to give Penrith a chance to attack.
71 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Penrith TRY!
73 min: TRY
Lewis after an effective run offloads to Coote who gets it toward Iosefa, who looks like he dropped it, but got a toe to it for Coote to dive on it and score. Walsh adds the extras.
Penrith Panthers 22-10
74 min: South Sydney look very hurt by that last Penrith try. Penrith hand Souths an opportunity with a knock on, but Souths are looking very flat in attack.
75 min: Souths try something only to award Penrith a 20 metre tap.
77 min: Issac Luke now leaving the field after being hurt in the tackle.
79 min: Luke Walsh with a 40/20 attempt almost there, but saved by Merritt.
80 min: PENALTY to Souths in the final minute, but Sutton's boot fails to find touch and Purtell takes it and finds full time.
80 min: Panthers take an ugly win 22 points to 10.