With the tension rising, the Panthers once again proved their worth and kept their fight for finals football alive with a 28-14 win over Wests Tigers at the Pepper Stadium.
1 Penrith slide into the top eight
The Penrith Panthers have made their dreams a reality as a 28-14 win over the visitors sees them back in the top eight just as finals season is about to begin.
The victory came off the back of a closely fought first half, which saw tries repeatedly ruled out by the bunker. Both Tyrone May and Tyrone Peachey were denied through tough obstruction calls while Dylan Edwards went within a few blades of grass of adding another try in the second stanza.
2 Dallin claims bragging rights
Brothers Dallin and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak went head to head for the first time since Malakai made his debut at Penrith.
Panthers winger Dallin score in the corner to open up a six-point lead in the 79th minute, securing the win and the family bragging rights.
Dallin had scored a try earlier in the game too with Waqa Blake pushing past several defenders to put him across the whitewash early in the second stanza.
3 The Tigers have seen better days
Two of the Tigers' tries came from Penrith's poor kicking choices and their coach Ivan Cleary remained critical of his team. Cleary wasn't happy with the kicking games of Tui Lolohea and Luke Brooks but they were not at their usual level from one to 17.
4 The talent shines through
Penrith’s last two tries were set up by the most inexperienced players in the game as both Corey Harawira-Naera and May continued to prove that talent and enthusiasm is all you need.
13 out of the 17 players that took to the field were picked out from the Holden Cup series. And with local talent rising, the decision to pick young players over the experienced ones plays a huge factor in the way the club performs.
5 Cleary vs Cleary
The cameras focused on the Watene-Zelezniak brothers but Nathan Cleary was also taking centre stage as he took on his father for the first time. With his dad watching, he still managed to nail a touchline conversion in helping his side to victory.
6 A reflection of the game
Although both sides' defensive lines were good, Penrith's 64% competition rate and rushed attack had created some doubt. That was until May and Harawira-Naera secured the win with late tries.
The Panthers have improved massively across the season but they are not the finished package yet. Their completion rate remains average, and that is something they will have to improve ahead of playing North Queensland next weekend.
What were your highlights from the Panther's win over the Tigers? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?