Wests Tigers bounced back from a three-game losing streak and returned to the top eight with a 26-18 win over Penrith at Campbelltown Stadium in Round 19 last season.
A see-sawing game was finally put to bed for the win by the home side when lock Chris Heighington produced a 40-metre run and left-foot sidestep for a late try.
The Panthers had been rocked in the lead-up to the game by the news that their star player, Luke Lewis, had requested a release from his contract at the end of the season, but when it came time to compete they did that admirably. After trailing 14-12 at halftime the Panthers wrested the lead, 18-14, but were overtaken by a try from Tigers interchange forward Ben Murdoch-Masila.
The Tigers had to fight to hang on to a 20-18 lead for most of the final 20 minutes, before Heighington's try finally eased the pressure. The win meant that a controversial ruling by the video referee to allow a try to Penrith halfback Luke Walsh, when it appeared Tigers fullback Tim Moltzen had been obstructed, did not affect the outcome.
It doesn't appear on the stats sheet, but Tigers prop Keith Galloway left the field several minutes before halftime with AC joint damage that would often keep a player off for good. But Galloway had a pain-killing injection at halftime and went back out for the second half to help his team to a win.
Panthers centre Michael Jennings might have been on the losing side, but he was close to the most dangerous player in attack out of both sides, with 16 tackle-breaks.