Panthers sneak home against Raiders in crazy contest

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Canberra Raiders v Penrith Panthers

A second half fightback before a late field goal by Nathan Cleary has sealed a mad game of footy for the Panthers by 1 point, Penrith finishing 23-22 victors over Canberra at GIO Stadium.

The game started badly for the Raiders, who gave away a penalty on the second tackle of the game and then Joey Leilua was taken off with concussion inside the opening 90 seconds.

In the fourth minute Penrith chipped on the last, Maloney followed through and soccered the ball on again. Rapana tried to clean up on his own line but wasn't able to do so and Peachey regathered the loose ball to score in the corner. Maloney was unable to convert.

Penrith received a penalty after an intriguing play where Croker took a high ball before being caught in the middle of a scrummaging push by both sides. Maloney added the two.

After another pair of back to back penalties, Maloney again added another goal.

In the 15th minute, the Raiders finally got a full set inside the Panthers half, where a great ball by Austin put Cotric over in the corner. Croker's sideline conversion was perfect.

Penrith then gave away 5 straight penalties before Ellis was marched 10 minutes for repeated infringements.

A woeful set by the Raiders ended with a remarkable 40/20 kick by Rapana. Penrith gave away another penalty and Croker decided to level the scores with a penalty goal.

Canberra again started a half with an error, this time they were offside and Maloney nailed another penalty goal to give his side a 10-8 lead.

8 minutes into the second half, the Raiders scored a fortuitous try, when it appeared that Austin knocked the ball out of Peachey's hands. Whitehead cleaned up and passed to Rapana who strolled over to score. Croker converted from right in front.

Jordan Rapana then suffered a torn hamstring while turning and chasing a grubber. He managed to fall and catch the ball despite the injury, denying the Panthers a try.

Despite missing ‘Leipana' Canberra still managed to score a trademark ‘Leipana' try, when Papalii surged to the line before flicking a great pass to Whitehead who dived over for a try in the corner. Croker's sideline conversion was brilliant.

Just 3 minutes later the Panthers hit back when Peachey sliced through the Raiders edge defence to score. Maloney again slotted the sideline conversion.

A high tackle on Croker draws another penalty and Croker lands the penalty goal.

With 5 minutes remaining, Tamou spun in a tackle and got a ball to Peachey, who then draw two defenders and before sending a good ball to Cleary, who then found Harawera-Naera. The big forward linked with Whare, who dived over in the right corner. Maloney's sideline conversion only just snuck in between the posts to level the scores.

Hingano, playing well out of position on the wing, dropped a regulation pass just 20m from his own line with three minutes on the clock. This lead to a good set by the Panthers before Nathan Cleary slotted a beautifully struck field goal to seal the win for the Panthers.

Both sides hit the road next week, with Penrith away to the Roosters as they look to maintain their competition lead, while Canberra are up the Hume at Campbelltown against the Wests Tigers.

Canberra Raiders 22 - Penrith Panthers 23

Venue: GIO Stadium Canberra
Crowd: 7662
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 8 Penrith Panthers 8

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Papalii
2 points - James Maloney
1 points - Tyrone Peachey

CANBERRA RAIDERS (22)
Tries: Nick Cotric, Jordan Rapana, Elliot Whitehead
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (2/2)

PENRITH PANTHERS (23)
Tries: Tyrone Peachey (2), Dean Whare
Field Goals: Nathan Cleary (1/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (2/3)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (3/3)


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