Panthers win another close one
The Penrith Panthers snuck away with a highly entertaining 20-16 win over the Sydney Roosters on Monday night in driving rain at Allianz Stadium.
While the likes of Te Maire Martin and Latrell Mitchell kept the crowd abuzz, it was the big men in the middle like Leilani Latu (213 metres) who made it all possible with each team scoring three tries.
Goal-kicking proved the difference in the end with Penrith's Jamie Soward's perfect record enough to edge out the Roosters – who fell to their sixth loss in their past seven games.
Penrith were involved in their sixth-straight game where the end result was by a converted try or less.
Quick hands from Matt Moylan allowed for first points when winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak's scored in the seventh minutes – a Mitchell error affording them excellent field territory in the lead up.
Soward extended their lead to eight with a penalty goal three minutes later when Isaac Liu was placed on report for a crusher on Latu.
Mitchell made amends for the Roosters in the 19th minute when he barged through Moylan, Josh Mansour and Trent Merrin to score his second career try.
It took a role-reversal for the Panthers to score their next try when prop Suaia Matagi put five-eighth Martin through a gaping hole to score in the 31st minute.
A string of Penrith penalties handed the Roosters the momentum, skipper Jake Friend using it to his advantage when a quick tap helped Blake Ferguson isolate Soward in defence to score and cut the Panthers' lead to four by half-time.
A long-winding Waqa Blake try in the 45th minute pushed the Panthers lead out to 10. The centre's first try of the year came from a Yeo offload, leaving him to beat Mitchell and Shaun Kenny-Dowall on his way to the try-line.
The Roosters wouldn't die wondering though as a hot potato passage of play – where it went through no less than eight sets of hands – midway through the second half ended when Mitchell secured his second try of the night under the black dot.
Moylan was denied for the second time in the 71st minute when Tyrone Peachey's pass in the lead up was ruled forward.
Despite having four sets of six on the Roosters' try-line in the dying minutes the Panthers failed to score, but it mattered little as they secured a four-point victory.
Penrith Panthers 20 (Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Te Marie Martin, Waqa Blake tries; Jamie Soward 4 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 16 (Latrell Mitchell 2, Blake Ferguson tries; Jackson Hastings 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: Panthers 14-10. On Report: Isaac Liu (Roosters) – crusher.