FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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There were plenty of errors and mistakes as both sides had their moments in the first half with the Panthers getting the upper hand to lead at halftime by 16-10
The Tigers were lucky not to concede more points as the Panthers continually screwed try scoring opportunities.
With 16 minutes to go, Joe Galuvao showed brute strength as he powered his way through half-a-dozen Tigers players to single handedly score what looked like the match winning try.
But the Tigers wouldn?t lie down as they came back straight away through a Ben Galea try, then shortly after through a lucky bounce of the ball and a try to debutant Luke Duffy to put the match within two points of scoring a big upset.
With one minute to go, the Tigers threw the ball around looking to make a break. It appeared as though Frank Pritchard from the Panthers played at the ball, knocked on and then pounced on it; but the referee said nothing and the home secured another win.
The match looked scrappy in parts as the Tigers put in a brave effort only to come up short. The Panthers looked dangerous throwing the ball around but were often let down by lazy errors.
Scorers: PANTHERS 22 Tries: Roberts 2, Swain, Galuvao Goals: Girdler 3/4 defeated WESTS TIGERS 20 Tries: Wilson, Hodgson, Galea, Duffy Goals: Hodgson 2/4
Penrith Football Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Video Referee: Graeme West. Touch Judges: Paul Kalina, Darren Gocher
By the clock: 0 min: Round 8 is under way in front of a packed Penrith Stadium. Tigers kick off.
3 min: NEWS - Pressure is put on the Panthers with the Tigers spending a majority of their time with the ball inside the Panthers 20 metres line.
5 min: NEWS - The Tigers hang on after Joe Galuvao was ruled to be held up over the line on the last tackle.
10 min: NEWS - After 2 sets of six down the Tigers end of the field Craig Gower darts out of dummy only to make a double movement in front of the posts.
13th min: TRY - Tigers. Poor defence out of dummy half lets Daniel Fitzhenry make a big break. He finds John Wilson who is held up by Rhys Wesser but was ruled to have put the ball over the line to score a try. Hodgson converts. 6-0 Tigers
17th min: TRY - Panthers. The Premiers hit back following a penalty. They simply pass it wide to find Amos Roberts to score out wide. Girdler misses the conversion. 6-4 Tigers
19th min: TRY - Panthers. The Tigers make a mistake near the Panthers line. Amos Roberts beats off several defenders to score a beautiful length of the field try. 10-4 Panthers
22 min: TRY - Tigers. The Tigers claw back straight away with the Panthers struggling they pass it out wide,An offload finds Brett Hodgson's hands to score. Hodgson misses the conversion. 10 all
25 min: NEWS - The Panthers put on an attacking onslaught. Joe Galuvao was ruled to be held up on the 5th tackle. Craig Gower puts up a bomb on the last tackle but it's safely taken by a Tigers player.
27 min: NEWS - The Panthers almost score on the last after a great play. The last pass is wayward and goes out over the line.
30 min: NEWS - Craig Gower comes inches from scoring a try. The next play a wayward pass is thrown. A Tigers player chances after it and knocks it on. The Panthers are penalised for obstuction the next play.
32 min: NEWS - The Panthers go the short side on the last tackle. A Tigers player intercepts the ball near the line.
36 min: TRY - Panthers. Craig Gower throws a beaut pass to find Luke Swain to score an easy try. Girdler converts. 16-10 Panthers.
HALF-TIME: The Tigers have done well not to make this a cricket score.The Panthers at times look to score on every play with some very high risk passing. The Tigers are hanging on and have done well with the ball that they've had. 16-10 Panthers.
40 min: Panthers kick off to re-start the match.
43 min: NEWS - The Tigers come oh-so close from scoring after a final pass to Mark O'Neill is knocked on just inches from the try line.
50 min: NEWS - Shane Elford takes a much needed intercept.With 3 Panthers out wide and no Gold, Black and White jumpers to defend them the Tigers are let off the hook.
52 min: NEWS - Preston Campbell was ruled to have knocked the ball on before passing to Paul Whatuira who thought he had scored a try.
55 min: NEWS - The Tigers bomb a try scoring opportunity after a knock on.
56 min: NEWS - Craig Gower puts in two kicks,Paul Whatuira picks it up but knocks it on over the line.
61 min: NEWS - The Tigers put up a bomb. It's picked up by Jason Moodie 20 metres out - he flicks an offload to Scott Prince who puts in a kick which is too strong.
62 min: NEWS - Scott Sattler is put on report for a late and high tackle on Craig Gower.
64 min: TRY - Panthers. 3 men are holding onto Joe Galuvao. He powers his way over to score and a show of awesome strength. Girdler converts. 22-10 Panthers
69 min: TRY - Tigers. Ben Galea picks up the ball from dummy half. He powers his way through some weak Penrith defence to score. Hodgson converts. 22-16 Panthers
73 min: NEWS - Ryan Girdler attempts a drop goal 20 metres out. It hardly gets off the ground.
75 min: TRY - Tigers. Scott Prince spots that the Panthers are up. A cruel bounce of the ball leaves Amos Roberts with egg on his face as Luke Duffy pounces on the ball to score on his debut. Hodgson misses the conversion. 22-20 Panthers
77 min: NEWS - Penrith lose the ball 20 metres out.This gives the Tigers to make a huge upset.
79 min: NEWS - The Tigers throw the ball around. Frank Pritchard (Panthers) looks like he put a hand to the ball but the referee never spotted it as the Panthers look sure to win the match.
FULL-TIME: Great finish to the match despite the controversial call by referee Stephen Clark. The final score: 22-20 Panthers over the Tigers.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Priddis (Panthers) 2 - J Skandalis (Tigers) 1 - J Galuvao (Panthers) -----------------------------------------