Moylan seals dramatic Panthers win
A 79th minute field goal from Penrith fullback Matt Moylan has handed his side a remarkable 35-34 victory over Brisbane at Sportingbet Stadium on Monday night.
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Match stats, scores, highlights
The Panthers looked well in control with a 34-18 lead in the 60th minute, but the Broncos scored three late tries to level the game with just one minute remaining.
However a Josh Maguire drop ball on the first tackle paved the way for Moylan's heroics, completing a stunning win that looked unlikely after they were left with 15 fit bodies at halftime.
Not even the halftime break could halt the casualties at the foot of the mountains, with a patron stretched off the field after a mishap during halftime entertainment.
But the Panthers broke open the game with three straight tries to start the second half, before Brisbane's furious late rally almost resulted in a golden point finish.
Penrith crossed first when centre Jamal Idris batted back a Jamie Soward 4th minute cross-field kick to Elijah Taylor for the first points of the game.
Brisbane compounded their poor start when Corey Parker's restart went out on the full, resulting in Moylan doubling his side's lead with a fleeting run that evaded four defenders.
However when the visitors finally got their second touch of the ball in the ninth minute – and their first penalty to go with it – five-eighth Josh Hoffman busted through the right flank and put his wingman Dale Copley over.
The hitback hurt the home side, who also lost winger Josh Mansour to an ankle injury in the lead-up, a pain that was magnified when a Ben Hunt show-and-go in the 32nd minute ended in centre Justin Hodges finishing off a 45-metre effort to level the scores.
Things only got worse for the Panthers when stand-in five-eighth Tyrone Peachey came off with a right arm problem not long after, and then Brisbane's impact hooker Jake Granville dived over from dummy half allowing the Broncos to take the lead for the first time in the contest.
In the space of just 20 minutes, Penrith had gone from a commanding 12-0 lead to an 18-12 deficit and down to just a two-man for the rest of the match.
But in what became the biggest moment in the night, a Moylan offload put Soward into the clear before the former Dragon produced a Benji-esque flick pass for Naiqama to score in the 39th minute and again tie the game 18-all at halftime, but more importantly, halt the Broncos' momentum.
This was no more evident than in the 47th minute, when Penrith got the all-important first try of the second half. And it was Soward's pinpoint bomb that was caught by a flying Segeyaro, whose offload to emergency five-eighth Bryce Cartwright as he was falling ended in Dean Whare going over in the corner.
The effort lifted the home side, who made it back-to-back tries when their quick hands on a 53rd minute left side shift paved the way for Naiqama to complete his brace.
Penrith created more breathing space in the 60th minute off another Soward kick, a cross field bomb that again fell into the arms of Cartwright, who offloaded to Brown to score.
Hopes of a Brisbane comeback were sparked when centre Jack Reed dragged two defenders over in the 66th minute and then winger Daniel Vidot pounced on a Hunt grubber in the 70th, before a Hunt short ball for Oates levelled the scores with just one minute remaining.
But it was not to be for the Broncos, with Moylan sealing a memorable win for Penrith.
Penrith Panthers 35 (Naiqama 2, Taylor, Moylan, Cartwright, Brown tries; Soward 5 goals, Moylan field goal) defeated Brisbane Broncos 34 (Copley, Hodges, Granville, Reed, Vidot, Oates tries; Parker 5 goals). Crowd: 12,439.