Josh Mercer reviews the Penrith Panthers’ round one clash against the Sydney Roosters. Here’s how the game went.
|2nd||Kyle Flanagan Penalty Goal (Roosters)||Roosters 2-0|
|4th||Mitchell Aubusson Try (Roosters)||Roosters 6-0|
|19th||Siosiua Taukeiaho Try (Roosters)||Roosters 10-0|
|21st||Kyle Flanagan Goal (Roosters)||Roosters 12-0|
|27th||Brent Naden Try (Panthers)||Roosters 12-4|
|28th||Nathan Cleary Goal (Panthers)||Roosters 12-6|
|48th||Nathan Cleary Penalty Goal (Panthers)||Roosters 12-8|
|57th||Kyle Flanagan Penalty Goal (Roosters)||Roosters 14-8|
|63rd||Stephen Crichton Try (Panthers)||Roosters 14-12|
|64th||Nathan Cleary Goal (Panthers)||Panthers 14-14|
|69th||Viliame Kikau Try (Panthers)||Panthers 18-14|
|71st||Nathan Cleary Goal (Panthers)||Panthers 20-14|
The Panthers didn’t get off to a great start, with hooker Api Koroisau kicking the ball out on the full from the kick off. Another penalty in the second minute saw Roosters halfback Kyle Flanagan kick a penalty goal for the game’s first points. The Roosters’ forwards were able to the get a good roll on early and were rewarded when Mitch Aubusson crossed the try line in the fourth minute after cleaning up a dropped ball from Josh Mansour. A missed conversion by Flanagan kept the score at 6-0 to the Roosters. Siosiua Taukeiahio then put the put the Roosters up 12-0, pouncing on a kick from hooker Jake Friend.
The Panthers were able to hit back after the Taukeiahio try with centre Bent Naden scoring off a Jarome Luai kick, and Nathan Cleary added the extra two points. After starting the game on the bench, Viliame Kikau was thrown into the action in the 20th minute of the first half, however he sent a scare through the Panthers camp, coming off before halftime with a shoulder injury. Both teams traded some handling errors to end the first half, with the Roosters up 12-6.
The Panthers started the second half strongly, with Koroisau finding some metres in the centre of the field and catching the Roosters forwards offside, giving Cleary the chance to kick a penalty goal for a 12-8 scoreline. A high shot by Jack Hetherington on James Tedesco saw the Roosters march into the Panthers half, with Joey Manu going very close to scoring, but the Panthers defence held him up. Flanagan was able to give the Roosters an eight-point lead in the 57th minute with a penalty goal.
The Panthers were the next team to score with Mansour finding space on the Roosters’ right edge before kicking infield for replacement fullback Stephen Crichton. Nathan Cleary added the extras to level the score at 14-14. After that try the Roosters were on the back foot, with handling errors not helping the Bondi side. The Panthers put the final nail in the coffin in the 69th minute when Kikau crossed the tryline off a Cleary pass. Cleary was able to convert the try, giving the Panthers a 20-14 win.
The highlight of the game was the try to the Panthers replacement fullback Stephen Crichton to level the scores at 14-all. Crichton had only just come onto the field when the Panthers were able to find space down the Roosters’ right side; Mansour’s kick bounced perfectly into the 19-year-old’s hands for a try that turned the game for the home side.
1.Caleb Aekins, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Brent Naden, 5. Brian To’o, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Api Koroisau, 10. Zane Tetevano, 15. James Fisher-Harris, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo. Interchange: 11. Villame Kikau, 14. Stephen Crichton, 16. Moses Leota, 17. Jack Hetherington.
1.James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 5. Brett Morris, 4. Joey Manu, 18. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargraves, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Sitili Tupouniua, 12. Mitchell Aubusson, 13. Victor Radley. Interchange: 14. Sam Verrills, 15. Isaac Liu, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Lindsay Collins.