Panthers progress with golden try
The Panthers are the first team through to the 2017 Downer NRL Auckland Nines semi-finals after Tyrone May scored to seal an incredible 16-12 golden try win over the Sea Eagles.
It's the first time Penrith have advanced to the final four and they could well play local rivals the Parramatta Eels if they defeat the Titans.
It didn't take long for the Panthers to open the scoring with powerhouse centre Waqa Blake smashing his way through the defensive line before he sprinted 50 metres to dive over in the bonus zone.
Not to be outdone, Brian Kelly showed why he is one of the most exciting rookies for season 2017 as he bounced his way into the bonus zone to give the Sea Eagles a two-point cushion at the break.
That's how the score would remain until Dylan Walker chased a long kick with plenty of vigour and was rewarded with a kind bounce to regather and score in the bonus zone.
Nothing seemed to be going right for the Panthers; that was until a James Tamou pass was batted down, Nathan Cleary scooped it up and sent Sione Katoa over to score under the posts.
The star halfback then coolly slotted the conversion to level the scores but inexplicably sent the ensuing kick-off out on the full to gift Manly field position.
With a second left on the clock, Joey Lussick received the ball just to the left of the uprights but sliced his field goal attempt wide to send the game into extra-time.
Any thoughts of a prolonged period of extra-time were quickly put to bed as Jorge Taufua spilled the ball from the first set.
Several plays later, the Panthers shifted it to the left and May – who has been a Holden Cup star for the past two seasons – strolled over untouched to help his side progress to the final four.
Panthers 16 (Waqa Blake, Sione Katoa, Tyrone May tries; 1 goal) def. Sea Eagles 12 (Brian Kelly, Dylan Walker tries; 1 goal). Half-time: 7-5 Sea Eagles.