Raiders do enough to keep finals hopes alive

Canberra have produced three second half tries to defeat Penrith 20 points to 10 in front of 7,437 fans at Centrebet Stadium.

After being thrashed by Melbourne last week, Penrith were looking for an improved performance. It showed from the outset, as they played more attacking football with Michael Gordon chiming in nicely.

Gordon got involved for Penrith's for first try, as he chimed in once again to throw a lovely cut-out for Josh Mansour to stride in untouched.

The attacking intent continued for the Panthers as they were regularly breaking through the line but the last pass or kick wasn't working and Canberra held on. Despite being the better team, Penrith only lead 6-0 at halftime.

Canberra started the stronger in the second stanza, getting an early penalty from a Jennings high tackle which was placed on report. McCrone laid on the first Raiders try with a kick to Jarrod Croker which came off Penrith and pounced on by the centre.

Everything was rolling well for the Raiders, Josh McCrone added a try of his own in the 55th minute, as Penrith were disjointed on last tackle allowing McCrone to race 65 metres to hand Canberra the lead.

McCrone was amongst the action again, putting in a kick which fortuitously rebounded off Coote into Joe Picker to cross the stripe and extend Canberra's lead to twelve.

The fluent attack from the Panthers in the first half was missing in the second, as last tackle options were going awry and errors being made. Croker added a penalty goal after Panthers conceded a penalty on their line, making it 20-6 Canberra.

From the penalty goal, Penrith went for the short kick and it succeeded. In the ensuing set, Michael Gordon showed there in no problems in with his knee as he sliced through to give the Panthers a glimmer of hope.

The door was shut abruptly though, as Canberra defended the last few minutes without incident to keep their finals hopes alive and defeat Penrith 20 points to 10.

Both teams will be sweating on the judiciary hearings, as Michael Jennings is in trouble for a high shot and attacking the legs of the kicker. For Canberra, Josh Papalii will face a striking charge for his hit on Lachlan Coote.

Penrith Panthers 10 were defeated by Canberra Raiders 20

National Rugby League - Round 23 - Sunday August 12, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Centrebet Stadium, Penrith
Referee: Jason Robison and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Paul Mellor
Touch Judges: Dan Eastwood and Luke Phillips
Crowd: 7,437
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 6 Canberra Raiders 0 players of the match:
3 Points - Josh McCrone (1 Try)
2 Points - Michael Gordon (1 Try)
1 Point - Josh Dugan

Tries: Michael Gordon, Josh Mansour
Conversions: Luke Walsh (1/2)

Tries: Joe Picker, Jarrod Croker, Josh McCrone
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1) Live Commentary Welcome to a wild and windy Penrith Stadium where two desperate sides clash for differing reasons. Penrith will want to keep up with the Eels who are inching away from the wooden spoon and Canberra are still a chance of making the finals, they need to win today though.
Toyota Cup saw another disappointing result for the Panthers, with them leading for 77 minutes before surrendering it to the Raiders late and losing 28 points to 22.

PEN - Only one change for them, Mitch Achurch is out replaced on the bench by Nigel Plum.

CAN - They also only have one change, Dane Tilse had to rush back to Canberra to be with his wife thus Sam Mataora will start and Jarrad Kennedy cames onto the bench.
Canberra are the first to run onto Penrith followed by the tolling bell which can only mean one thing, Penrith are on the field as well!
Canberra will kick off through Josh Dugan with Penrith running right to left. Here we go!
3 min: Canberra had been warned about slowing down the ruck and have been penalised for it.
3 min: An errant offload from Newton goes to his own player but it's stripped by Dugan.. penalty. The player was already tackled.
5 min: TRY
Good work by Lachlan Coote and Michael Gordon there.. Gordon becoming the second man in the play, throwing a lovely cut-out pass to Josh Mansour who goes in untouched. Luke Walsh from the sideline curves it inside the posts.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
7 min: A nice shift on last tackle from Penrith again has Gordon involved passing it to Jennings who has a two on one with his winger in support but he decides to kick and it goes dead.
VIDEO REFEREE: Checking if Lachlan Coote might have scored but we're going to check if Tim Grant's offload was knocked on.
9 min: NO TRY! It just spilled from Tim Grant's hands after the Michael Gordon break. Scrum to Canberra on the 20 metre line.
11 min: Josh McCrone just walked through the ruck there to slow down the roll Penrith have amassed. Penalty.
11 min: Josh McCrone just walked through the ruck there to slow down the roll Penrith have amassed. Penalty.
11 min: Josh McCrone just walked through the ruck there to slow down the roll Penrith have amassed. Penalty.
12 min: Early count kick from Luke Walsh is almost snapped up by Clint Newton but he was beaten to it by Jarrod Croker who put it dead. Dropout.
14 min: Raiders have their first penalty after a massive run from Blake Ferguson to escape the in-goal. Coote was caught for a leg pull for the penalty.
17 min: Canberra try to play some expansive football from their own end, giving Blake Ferguson some space on the outside. It wasn't enough though, as he was caught by Mansour and flung over the sideline.
18 min: The Raiders just aren't at the races currently, another error from their own end.
24 min: An incisive run from Josh Dugan has opened up the Panthers but he can't find his support. He can find a penalty though.
26 min: Penrith's back three have been good thus far this afternoon defusing bombs from Canberra.
26 min: Luke Walsh with steps his way almost through but offloads to Gordon who drops it. Coote was in front of him, penalty.
28 min: Dangerous there by Michael Jennings, he clipped Josh McCrone's legs as he was kicking. That's always a penalty.
28 min: Another penalty here.. for a leg pull.
29 min: Time off.. Lachlan Coote is down hurt. He might have been clipped by Josh Papalii as he was running through.
29 min: He is.. Papalii clipped Coote and has been penalised plus placed on report.
30 min: High kick on last from Walsh.. caught by Dugan and uses the go-go gadget arms to get out of the in-goal. Next tackle, Brad Tighe concedes a penalty for being offside.
32 min: Six more for the Raiders off a knock on by Gordon in catching the bomb.
32 min: Searching for the offload is Shaun Fensom but he only finds an error. Raiders wasting good territory here.
34 min: Panthers are making breaks at will but Canberra's scramble defense is up to the task. Walsh's wobbly kick on last earns them a dropout.
37 min: Good defense from Canberra has not given Penrith any space in this set and rewarded with a knock on from Walsh.
38 min: Michael Gordon turns defense into attack, shrugging off two defenders to make it into the field of play.
39 min: Another early kick from Walsh won't get him a 40/20 but it traps Dugan in-goal not for the first time this afternoon.
40 min: Shifted on last by Penrith again but this time was quelled by a forward pass.
40 min: HALFTIME - Penrith have dominated possession and field position but haven't converted those into chances. Canberra will be wrapped with their defense in keeping it to six points.
Both teams have made their way back onto Penrith Park so we're ready to get back underway. Penrith kick-off and here we go again!
44 min: First penalty goes to Canberra after a high shot from Michael Jennings. Jennings is called out again and is put on report for the second time this afternoon.
VIDEO REFEREE: Seeing if Jarrod Croker has touched it.
46 min: TRY
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Croker is judged not to have touched it and is given the try from the McCrone kick. Croker comes in to convert his own try and does.
6 all
49 min: SIX MORE.. Ferguson touched it. Can the Panthers respond after Canberra scored.
50 min: A nice ball and all tackle from Ferguson forces it loose.
55 min: TRY
Canberra turning defense into attack. Penrith try to run it on last but to no avail, a stabbing kick goes straight to McCrone is away, will Tighe stop him? No he won't.. TRY! Croker from close to the posts, converts.
Canberra Raiders 12-6
56 min: A fourth tackle shift by the Raiders goes awry.. Ferguson dropping it.
58 min: Penrith are in disarray in this attacking set, no one could find the kick on last tackle and it's handed over.
58 min: Compounded with a penalty now, for offside.
61 min: TRY
Josh McCrone has the golden touch currently, he puts in a grubber which rebounds off Coote to Joe Picker who goes through for the third Raiders try. McCrone makes no mistake and it's twelve the difference.
Canberra Raiders 18-6
63 min: Luke Walsh steps and is through! He's looking for his support but can't find it, changeover.
64 min: Penrith shooting themselves in the foot here.. another penalty piggybacks Canberra out.
65 min: Stab kick from Williams forces Mansour to tap it dead. Dropout.
66 min: Blake Ferguson goes close but is held up! Berrigan can't handle the pass and knocked on.
69 min: Sam Williams with a clumsy tackle goes high and is penalised.
70 min: Matt Robinson goes through the line and offloads for his support, only finds Jarrad Kennedy.
71 min: Clint Newton is caught on last. Raiders will have a full set in the Panthers half.
72 min: Add six more.. strip penalty on Matt Robinson. Raiders opt for the penalty goal.
Croker steps up and it's right in front, twenty metres out. He nails it.
Canberra Raiders 20-6
74 min: Short kick-off works for the Panthers. Good take from Simmons.
75 min: TRY
Penrith run it and go with numbers, Gordon goes himself and is through for the TRY. Walsh with the conversion, hits the posts and goes out.
Canberra Raiders 20-10
76 min: Panthers have to keep it alive.. but again Robinson offloads to a Raider, this time it was Earl.
78 min: Penalty to Penrith. Here they come.
79 min: Panthers keep it alive on last but they can't cross the line and that should be all she wrote this afternoon.
80 min: Catch and pass from Clint Newton goes astray and trickles over the sideline.
FULLTIME - No one is keen to pack the scrum and Canberra keep their top eight hopes alive!

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