A glut of early possession wasn’t enough for the Panthers to assert their dominance against the Raiders in Round 23 last season.
The Panthers scored the first try through Josh Mansour after only four minutes, but from then the tide turned the visiting Raiders’ way. Just six minutes into the second half, with the Panthers leading 6-0 after dominating possession and field position early on, a Canberra bomb appeared to be knocked on near the Panthers’ try line… only for the video referee to award a try to Jarrod Croker. The Raiders scored a further two tries to secure a 20-10 victory, with five-eighth Josh McCrone earning three Dally M points.
The Raiders dominated the back half of the game on the back of a superior 54-46 possession count as well as fewer total errors (eight to the Panthers’ 11). The ball control from the visitors also forced Penrith to complete an additional 55 tackles (376 to 321).
Despite Michael Gordon running for a game-high 211 metres, Canberra were able to out-muscle and outclass the Panthers with the visitors recording a superior completion rate (34/42 compared with 28/37) that ultimately guided them to victory.