Raiders too good for Penrith

Match summary: Penrith Panthers 18 vs Canberra Raiders 34

Canberra Raiders now have win number three on the board for the season after putting on a strong defensive performance to defeat the Penrith Panthers by 34-18 tonight in Penrith.

The signs were worrying early in the game for the visitors when the Panthers went over for an early try 4 minutes into the first half, the second time the Penrith side had crossed the line in that time.

However unforced errors by the Panthers and determined defence by the Raiders saw Canberra score three unanswered tries to take a comfortable lead heading towards the break.

A late try by Penrith just before halftime brought a bit of respectability to the scoreline for them, with the Raiders ahead by just 16-12 as they left the field.

The TV cameras showed a fire up Matthew Elliot laying down some rules in the sheds. Unfortunately the Panther didn't seem to take much heed of his calls as the unforced errors continued for the rest of the match. A 50% completition rate for the game not helping their cause at all.

The Raiders side copped plenty of injuries in the game but battled on for a well deserved victory. Dobson, playing with injured ankle, directed play well with the help of Campese.

The Panthers now have to bounce back from their fourth consecutive defeat, and no doubt will. The Raiders on the other hand, have given everyone a taste of what they can offer in the 2007 season.

Round 7 - Full Time :: April 28th, 2007 05:30 PM Venue: CUA Stadium Referee: Gavin Badger

Penrith Panthers 18 Tries: Luke Lewis, Rhys Wesser, Michael Jennings Goals: Michael Gordon (3/3)

Canberra Raiders 34 Tries: Brett Kelly, Alan Tongue, William Zillman, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Neville Costigan, Lincoln Withers Goals: Michael Dobson (5/6)

Live commentary Both sides heading into the game with just 2 wins each in 2007. Dobson (Raiders) playing with a strapped ankle, injured in the warm up. Gower (Raiders) off his sick bed to play tonight.

1 min: Small chance of rain as the Raiders kick off.

2 min: Video ref used already as Frank Puletua offloads to a flying Wesser, he makes 30 metres and kicks through for the chasers. Pritchard looks to have knocked the ball forward in goal. An ominous start for the Raiders.

4 min: TRY Penrith Panthers A penalty hands the Panthers easy metres. The next set and great team work thru the hands sets up Lewis for the corner. From the sideline, a terrific kick. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 6-0

8 min: A bit of niggle coming into the game. This game has a bit of feeling in it. Discipline letting the Raiders down slightly.

14 min: The Raiders close to scoring own the sideline but the last pass called up for being forward. Score remains 6-0 to the home side.

17 min: Line dropout to the Raiders after building up a bit of momentum for the first time in the match.

18 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Nice set for the Raiders with Campese putting in a great little kick for the corner. Kelly slides into the corner, picks the ball up and places it over the line, hurting his ankle in the process. Another nice sideline kick. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson successful. 6 all

22 min: TRY Canberra Raiders The Raiders once again on attack. Fifth tackle and Dobson puts up a high kick into the in goal. Gowers called for it, but bombed the catch, and Tongue is there to pounce. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson successful. Canberra Raiders 12-6

25 min: Kelly (Raiders) has left the field, not recovering from his injury from the try he scored. 4 forwards on the Raiders bench, so there's been a reshuffle on the field.

30 min: Dobson (Raiders) struggling in back play after aggravating his injured ankle. Panthers have given away 5 straight penalties.

34 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Once again a penalty against the Panthers hands the Raiders get great field position. A brilliant pass by Costigan close to the line is snapped up by Zillman who scores in the corner. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson unsuccessful. Canberra Raiders 16-6

38 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Finally the Panthers are able to launch an attack 30 metres out from their line following a mistake by the Raiders. Gower and Wesser combine well to set up the try under the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Canberra Raiders 16-12

39 min: A head clash between Lewis and Withers sees Lewis leave the field with what looks like a nasty cheek injury. Withers will battle on.

HALFTIME: Three tries to two to the Raiders in a very tough contest. The loss of Lewis huge for the Panthers, his defence has been very strong.

41 min: A bit of a rev up in the Panthers shed at halftime from the coach. On the other hand, a buoyant mood in the Canberra dressing room.

46 min: Penrith starting the second half with a bit more purpose but the Raiders defence is up to the task.

50 min: Slippery conditions it seems as both side struggle to get through their sets without an error. No change in the score since the break.

51 min: TRY Canberra Raiders A scrum to the Panthers, and a mistake on the first tackle hands possession to the Raiders. Soft defence close to the line allows the try to be scored. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson successful. Canberra Raiders 22-12

54 min: The Panthers are rattled, their coach seems to have smoke coming out of his ears. Unable to complete a set, and back chatting to the ref is not helping their cause.

55 min: Phil Graham close to scoring for the Raiders, sealing the demise of the Panthers tonight. Fortunately for the home side, he lost control of the ball by the posts

60 min: Desperate defence by the Raiders has saved a certain try to Wesser.

63 min: A bit of momentum to the Panthers and Jennings very close to scoring. The video ref deems no penalty try for the ball being stripped however the Panthers have another set from a penalty.

65 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Once again the Penrith side have let a soft try in. Costigan ducks in from dummy half against almost non existent defence for an easy try. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson successful. Canberra Raiders 28-12

70 min: TRY Canberra Raiders The floodgates have well and truely opened in Penrith. Countless mistakes by the home sides is allowing the Raiders continuous possession. Withers says thank you very much for the try. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson successful. Canberra Raiders 34-12

74 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Finally the Panthers faithful have something to cheer about. A high kick by Gower on the 40 metre line is missed by Graham and Jenning picks up the ball to score. The ref awarded the try, the replay showing Jennings was offside. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Canberra Raiders 34-18

76 min: Some niggle between the two hookers stops play. Other players come in to help. Priddis is penalised for throwing the first punch, much to his disgust. Player of the Match 3 Points: Michael Dobson 2 Points: Neville Costigan 1 Point: Terry Campese