The Panthers have racked up a seventh successive win with a closely fought 26-22 victory over a desperate Canberra side. Penrith broke Canberra hearts for the second time this season, scoring late and then holding out with some solid defence on their own line. Canberra now need a miracle to qualify for the finals while the Panters are just two points outside of the all-important top four.
1 Penrith in red-hot form
Penrith continued to steamroll their way into the finals with a seventh consecutive victory and will have other top eight sides wary of what they can produce. The Panthers were firing in attack and solid on their own line in holding out a desperate Raiders side.
2 Canberra's finals hopes in tatters
Canberra do technically still have a chance of getting the top eight but it would require a minor miracle. They would require the Cowboys and Dragons to both lose their remaining games. If that happens, the Raiders would still have a chance of coming undone when their face Minor Premiers Melbourne Storm away from home.
3 Panthers shine all over the park
Penrith had stars all over the field with Dylan Edwards providing dangerous kick returns while Josh Mansour and Waqa Blake both turned in quality performances on the edge.
James Tamou led from the front, making 157 metres, and Nathan Cleary directed his side well. The Panthers have good players all over the park and are hitting form at the right time.
4 Dave Taylor's influence
The introduction of Dave Taylor to the contest coincided with a massive momentum switch in the contest.
The coal train was at his best and can be a real game-breaker when he fires. He was impressive throughout and picked up an assist for his efforts.
5 Completion rates tell the tale
Raiders were ahead with 10 minutes to go but Penrith crossed and held out for a four-point win. Canberra were on the right end of the penalty count but it was their indiscipline with the ball that proved costly.
The Raiders only completed 24 of 35 sets where the Panthers finished 28 of their 32. Penrith's lower error count and extra class with the ball in hand was a deciding factor in the game.
6 Raiders performing off the pitch
The Viking clap definitely does its job hyping in up the crowd. The vocal Canberra crowd was loud throughout the contest in trying to will their side onto the win.
While the Raiders look to have fallen short of the finals this year, their supporters have certainly not them down.
What were your highlights from the Panthers win over the Raiders? Let us know in the comments below.
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