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Fulltime score: Round 26 Wests Tigers 22 v Penrith Panthers 38
Match summary: A surprising contest at Telstra Stadium this afternoon has seen Penrith defeat the Tigers 38-22, after the Tigers scored a point a minute early to lead 16-0.
Penrith scored three tries before the break to claw in front by two at the break. In the second half Penrith went on with the job, ultimately putting 32 points on the board before the Tigers even crossed again, by which time the game was too far gone.
A late try wrapped up the game for Penrith, who had nothing to pay for but made a very ordinary Tigers side pay the price.
As a result of this game and the others the first week of the finals series is as follows:
Friday: Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys at Telstra Stadium Saturday 6:30pm: Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium Saturday 8:30pm: St George-Illawarra v Cronulla Sharks at WIN Stadium Sunday: Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles at Parramatta Stadium.
Tigers v Panthers match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: WESTS TIGERS 22 Tries: P Richards 2, B Marshall, P Whatuira Goals: B Hodgson 3/4 PENRITH PANTHERS 38 Tries: B Howland 2, T Waterhouse, L Swain, L Priddis, S Rodney, J Clinton Goals: P Campbell 5/7
Venue: Telstra Stadium Crowd: 17,256 Referee: Shayne Hayne Half time: Panthers 18-16
Live commentary: 0 min: Kickoff at Telstra in this blockbuster between the Tigers and Penrith!
5 min: TRY Tigers Marshall scores, Hodgson converts. Tigers 6-0.
11 min: TRY Tigers Pat Richards crosses and Penrith are looking flustered. Hodgson two from two now. Tigers 12-0
16 min: TRY Tigers Richards bags a double early and Penrith look nothing like the side that tore Canterbury apart on the same ground 7 days earlier. Hodgson misses. Tigers 16-0.
24 min: TRY Panthers Penrith coming back, try to Waterhouse, converted by Preston Campbell. Tigers 16-6.
28 min: TRY Panthers The mountain men fighting back here as Howland goes in. Campbell brings the Panthers within four. Tigers 16-12.
34 min: TRY Panthers Try for Luke Swain, Penrith take the lead as Campbell converts. Panthers 18-16.
HALFTIME: Wests Tigers 16 Penrith Panthers 18. Tigers falling apart in the second quarter of the game, Penrith fighting back to lead by two. Wests looked powerful early but have fallen away. Gower starring for Penrith.
Second half underway.
48 min: TRY Panthers Tigers looking in lots of trouble now for next weeks finals as Penrith go in again, this time through Priddis. Campbell keeps his perfect kicking record intact today. Panthers 24-16.
52 min: TRY Panthers Shane Rodney goes over, a disappointment now looming for Wests. Campbell's first miss of the afternoon. Panthers 28-16.
60 min: TRY Panthers Clinton crosses for Penrith. No conversion from Campbell. Panthers 32-16.
70 min: TRY Tigers Wests mounting a late surge to protect their credibility as Whatuira scores against his old teammates. Hodgson converts. Panthers 32-22.
73 min: TRY Panthers Try to Howland again, Campbell converts. Panthers 38-22.
FULLTIME: Wests Tigers 22 Penrith Panthers 38. A resurgent Penrith has captured the Tigers in amazing fashion, after trailing 16-0 early, they scored 32 unanswered points and only conceded one more try, going on to win by 16 points. The Tigers would be stewing on a performance like this so close to the finals and will need to pick up for their Friday night clash with North Queensland.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - C Gower (Panthers) 2 - B Howland (Panthers) 1 - P Richards (Tigers) -----------------------------------------