Full Time
6:15pm Sun June 4, 2023
Round 14 - BlueBet Stadium, Penrith / Dharug - Crowd: 16912

Match Overview

Penrith Panthers were made to work but won 24-18 against a dogged St George Illawarra Dragons side in front of 16,912 fans at Penrith Stadium on Sunday night.

Despite this being a top four team against the bottom, it was a willing encounter in Penrith. The reigning Premiers had enough class to see off the Dragons and pick up a vital two points during the Origin period. 

The game started in bright fashion for the visitors. They took the lead from the kicking tee after Nathan Cleary was pinged for an obstruction. Zac Lomax piloted through the kick and made it 2-0 to the Dragons. 

Panthers quickly got into their groove. A quick shift to the right saw Brian To'o dive over to give them the lead as they looked to brush off their disappointment from Wednesday night and get back to winning ways.

The Dragons refused to go away. Mikaele Ravalawa showed off his strength down the right side and levelled the game at 6-all. Lomax again was successful from the tee and added his second penalty goal to give the Dragons the lead again. 

It was a carbon copy for the second four-pointer. Dragons again stripped numbers on the right and gave Ravalawa space to bulldoze his way to the try-line and made it a 12-6 score line for the visitors. 

Small errors cruelled the Dragons in this game and made it level at the break. An error gave the Panthers a scrum then Jack Cogger who replaced Nathan Cleary due to a hamstring strain put the kick on the chest of To'o to make it 12-all. 

Panthers retook the lead just after the break. They were awarded a penalty for offside which allowed Stephen Crichton to pilot through the goal to make it 14-12 and start the half off the right way. 

They extended the advantage again from some magic play. The ball refused to die on last then Izack Tago grubber through for a flying Suni Turuva to touchdown and get the 16,912 fans jumping at Penrith Stadium. 

Dragons again kept their nose in the game. Ben Hunt who played another magnificent hand for the team hoisted up a kick which Zac Lomax lept highest to score and set up for a grandstand finish. 

Panthers delivered the killer blow nine minutes from time. Isaah Yeo poked through the line, offloaded to a steamrolling Moses Leota who got his way to the line to once again give them the advantage. 

There was a final chance for the Dragons but once again, undone by a mistake. Tyrell Sloan sliced through for a four-pointer but it was called back due to an obstruction from Ben Murdoch-Masila. 

Crichton added to his tally with a penalty goal on the buzzer to make it 26-18 the final score. Panthers were dealt an early blow with the Cleary injury but got another two points in the bank. 

The Blues coaching staff will be sweating on the fitness of Nathan Cleary who injured his hamstring in the contest also there was an injury scare for Jarome Luai who rolled his ankle in the second half. 

3. Isaah Yeo

2. Ben Hunt

1. Brian To'o