Roosters record stunning upset over
Panthers

Round 23
Penrith Panthers 20 v Sydney Roosters 40
at CUA Stadium, Penrith
Referee: Jason Robinson

Match Summary:

The Sydney Roosters have defeated the Penrith Panthers by 40-20 tonight out at CUA Stadium in Penrith to de-rail the Panthers claims on a top 8 positions.

No doubt inspired to spoil the party for the team who snatched the 2003 Premiership from their grasp, the Roosters were impressive in their victory out west, breaking a four-match winning streak for the Panthers and at the same time putting a large dent in their semi-final aspirations.

Penrith began the game well scoring first through electric fullback Rhys Wesser in the 4th minute, but the Roosters hit back soon after with rookie winger Sam Perrett crossing for the first of his three tries.

The game ebbed and flowed for a while before Amos Roberts crossed for the visitors around the quarter-way mark of the game, taking their lead to 10-6. Penrith hit back with ten to go in the first half as powerful flanker Michael Gordon scored with Preston Campbell adding the extras to create a 12-10 lead. Gordon has been quite a find for the Panthers this season, scoring a few tries and proving a handful for the defence.

A penalty goal to Campbell minutes appeared to be the last score for the first half with the Panthers sitting pretty at 14-10. But the Chooks rallied and young fullback Shaun Foley found his way to the chalk, and with the conversion Easts lead 16-14 at the break.

Five minutes into the second half saw the Panthers get back into the contest with a try to gritty hooker Luke Priddis from dummy half close to the sticks to give a 20-16 lead with all the momentum heading Penrith?s way.

But someone forgot to tell the Roosters to lie down and they opened both barrels onto the Mountain Men as they scored a procession of tries along the way to sealing their 8th victory of the season.

Perrett went over in the 56th minute, followed by Josh Lewis (59th minute), Perrett again in the 64th before late bench player Jamie Soward crossed in the final minute of the game to wrap things up at 40-20.

The Panthers head down to Toyota Park next Saturday night in an effort to resurrect their fading semi-finals hopes against the Sharks. Meanwhile, the Roosters host the in-form Eels in what?s sure to be a cracking contest on Sunday arvo.


Scorers:
Penrith Panthers: 20
Tries: Luke Priddis, Rhys Wesser, Michael Gordon
Goals: Preston Campbell 4/4
Sydney Roosters: 40
Tries: Sam Perrett(3), Amos Roberts, Jamie Soward, Shaun Foley, Josh Lewis
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 4/5, Josh Lewis 2/2

By the Clock:
A cool evening out here at Penrith Park as the Panthers search for a victory following their loss to the Rabbitohs last week. Currently in 11th, they may be able to sneak into the top 8 with a win and if results favour them.

The Roosters will be hoping to spoil the night and probably have the 2003 Grand Final in the back of their heads as motivation. They lost to the Knights last week and realistically can only provide nuisance value at this stage.

Changes:

For Penrith, Luke Swain drops off the bench with the rest of the team as per the program.

For the Roosters, Craig Wing is out with an injury. which sees John Doyle move to hooker and Jamie Soward has been included on the bench.

1 min: NEWS And we're underway in the first half with the Panthers kicking off...

4 min: TRY Penrith Panthers
The Panthers are the first to cross the line with prolific try-scorer Rhys Wesser grabbing the first four-pointer with a bit of help from Preston Campbell. Campbell coverts and the Panthers take an early lead.
Panthers 6-0

7 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
The Roosters have hit back with a great try to winger Sam Perrett with the game opening up in the early stages. Craig Fitzgibbon can't convert from out wide and the Panthers hold a slim lead early on.
Panthers 6-4

11 min: NEWS More work being asked of this Roosters outfit as the Panthers get a better grip on early possession.

17 min: NEWS The game is evening out a bit here with both sides playing the game up the middle of the park. Penrith have made a few handling errors and the Roosters are holding their own right now and offloading well.

19 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
The Roosters are in again through clasys winger Amos Roberts as they seek to spread the ball to all pockets of the ground. Fitzy adds the extras and the Chooks are ahead.
Roosters 10-6

29 min: TRY Penrith Panthers
Powerful flanker Michael Gordon gets across the chalk for the home side as they launch a comeback against the Roosters. Campbell converts and they lead by two with a quarter of the first half to go.
Panthers 12-10

35 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith Panthers
Five-eighth Preston Campbell adds a further two pionts via a penalty goal for an infringement in the ruck.
Panthers 14-10

36 min: NEWS The game is still fairly even out here at Penrith with the Roosters using the offload to good effect whilst Penrith are making more yards but missing a few tackles and committing more errors as well.

37 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Rookie fullback Shaun Foley finds his way to the line as the Roosters surge late in the first half to equalise. Fitzgibbon knocks over the conversion and the visitors look set to take a lead into the break
Roosters 16-14

40 min: NEWS We head into the sheds to cut up some oranges with a real game on our hands out here at Penrith. The Roosters are up by two and have scored one more try than the home team. Penrith will need to pull together and rally in the second half as their season depends upon it. Otherwise the Roosters are doing well and Ricky must be happy with his boys.

41 min: NEWS And the Roosters restart proceedings out here in Penrith.

45 min: TRY Penrith Panthers
The Panthers hit the lead early in the second half as hooker Luke Priddis goes himself out of acting half and crashes over next to the posts. Campbell converts and this one may go down to the wire.
Panthers 20-16

51 min: NEWS Penrith again beginning to dominate possession and they are making significant inroads to the Roosters defence.

56 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
The Roosters are in again with young winger Sam Perrett grabbing his second of the night. They're playing enterprising footy. Josh Lewis lands the goal and the Chooks are back in front.
Roosters 22-20

59 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
The Roosters have pushed further ahead with rookie halfback Josh Lewis earning a meat pie with a good dash close to the line. He converts his own try and they visitors take an 8-point advantage.
Roosters 28-20

64 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Perrett completes his hat-trick out in the west as the Roosters run wild. They've opened up with both barrells here and have pushed well ahead of the home team. Fitzgibbons returns from a rest to kick this one and the visitors lead comfortably.
Roosters 34-20

80 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Replacement half Jamie Soward seals victory for the Bondi boys with another try to rub salt into the wounds of the Panthers. Fitzy adds the extras as the Roosters chalk up 40-points out at Penrith.
Roosters 40-20

80 min: NEWS The Roosters record a memorable victory against the Panthers out here at Penrith, running out 40-20 victors and upsetting Penrith's chances of making the top 8.
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Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Sam Perrett
2 - Craig Fitzgibbon
1 - Josh Lewis
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