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An impressive display by the Penrith side at their home ground lead to their 44-28 victory over the Tigers and consolidate their spot in the Top 4.
Very wet and greasy conditions certainly did not help either side early in match but soon the Penrith side settled into the game. With the lead of 22-0 at halftime, the Panthers had managed very well to control the football with some great attacking play.
Wesser with his 2 tries in the first half breaks the Panthers club record, which was his, to post 20 tries in a season..so far.
The Tigers fought well to come back into match in the second half and score 5 tries against a relaxed Panthers side.
14 tries in all were scored in the match, both sides throwing the ball around in adverse conditions to put on a great display for the large and vocal crowd at Penrith Stadium
Scorers: PANTHERS 44 Tries: Puletua, Wesser 2, Lewis 2, Rooney, Whatuira, Priddis, Waterhouse Goals: Girdler (4/9) defeated TIGERS 28 Tries: Wilson 2, Gibbs, Marshall, Bradley-Qalilawa Goals: Covell (4/5)
Saturday 23 August 2003 5:30 PM Penrith Football Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Video Referee: Tim Mander
Leagueunlimited players of the match:
3 - L Priddis (Panthers) 2 - P Campbell ( Panthers) 1 - R Mears (Tigers)
By the clock:
A wet and windy night greets the players as they run onto Penrith Stadium. The Panthers coming off a bye are looking to impress the huge home crowd up against a confident Tigers outfit after their hard fought win over the Broncos in Brisbane.
0 min: Kick off!
5th min: NEWS - With conditions the way they are unforced errors have started already, both teams making a tentative start
10th min: TRY - Puletua for Panthers. After the Tigers started to look a little dangerous, Campbell weaves his magic for the Panthers. A break up the middle, with support then an offload to Puletua who only knows one way, and that's straight ahead to the try line. Girdler adds the 2 points from almost right in front. Panthers 6-0
15th min: NEWS - Penrith close to scoring again however Girdler throws the dummy but unable to finish it off, the Tigers defence a little exposed
20th min: TRY - Wesser for Panthers. Once again Campbell breaks through the defensive line. Quick plays against the struggling defence, great work by Priddis and Wesser is through a gap and across the line. Girdler from 18 metres out from the touchline, hits the post and misses with the conversion. Panthers 10-0
24th min: TRY - Wesser for Panthers. Fifth tackle option for the Panthers who looked a little jaded, was a long looping pass from Gower out to Rooney on the wing. A burst of speed down the touchline, and Wesser in support, breaks his own club record of the number of tries in a season which now stands at 20. Girdler from wide out, misses the conversion. Panthers 14-0
28th min: TRY - Lewis for Panthers. A high kick by Gower out to the wing of Lewis seems to be covered by Covell. Lewis nabs the ball after contesting and spins over for the try. Girdler with another tough kick from the sideline, misses the conversion. Panthers 18-0
30th min: NEWS - Galuvao (Panthers) out of the game with a strained calf muscle
34th min: TRY - Rooney for Panthers. Girdler bursts down the short side and gets a great pass to Rooney in support who is over in the corner. Girdler with another difficult kick, only just misses this one. Panthers 22-0
HALF TIME: In wet and greasy conditions still a fine display by the Penrith Panthers
43rd min: TRY - Whatuira for Panthers. The Tigers unlucky to score due to the greasy ball. The Panthers quickly turn defence into attack. Sattler puts up a high kick to Lewis who taps the ball back to Whatuira in support who rolls over for the try. Girdler yet again from the sideline, misses the conversion. Panthers 26-0
51st min: TRY - Priddis for Panthers. Whatuira strips the ball from a Tigers player which sets up play close to the Panthers line. Priddis throws a dummy right on the line and ducks under the defender to score. A few fists are thrown but no one put on report. Girdler finally gets an easier kick and collects the extra points. Panthers 32-0
54th min: TRY - Wilson for Tigers. A knock on by Gower from the kick off gives the Tigers great field position. A set play with Wilson storming onto the ball at 100mph and there was no stopping him. Covell adds the 2 points from right out in front. Panthers 32-6
59th min: TRY - Gibbs for Tigers. The Tigers start to put together some good plays. Gibbs from 20 metres out, puts in a powerful run from dummy half to stretch out over the line by the post for his first try in first grade with his first touch of the ball. Covell gets the easy conversion. Panthers 32-12
65th min: TRY - Waterhouse for Panthers. Puletua with a busting 40 metre run helped to set up the Waterhouse try. Patient play close to their line left gaping holes in the Tigers defence. Spreading the ball wide, Waterhouse gets over in the corner. With rain teeming down, Girdler kicks a superb conversion from the sideline. Panthers 38-12
68th min: TRY - Wilson for Tigers. Wilson gets his 2nd try of the evening. A great little grubber by Fitzhenry close to the line, and Wilson is flying through to collect the 4 points. Great set move. Covell right on the sideline, hits it right down the middle to get the conversion. Panthers 38-18
72nd min: TRY - Marshall for Tigers. The Tigers players burst through the defence 90 metres from their goal line. Great support play from their speedsters and Marshall gets over for his first try in the NRL competition. Covell misses the conversion. Panthers 38-22
76th min: TRY - Lewis for Panthers. A grubber by Hill for the Tigers is picked up at halfway by Campbell who passes it to Lewis. The Penrith winger ducks and weaves through the struggling defence to score under the posts. Girdlers gets the easy conversion. Panthers 44-22
79th min: TRY - Bradley-Qalilawa for Tigers. O'Halloran makes a burst into a hole with Bradley-Qalilawa flying up in support with only Lewis to fend off. Covell adds the extra 2 points. Panthers 44-28
FULLTIME: With greasy conditions, well done to both side to cross for 14 tries between them, great watching