The Tigers were finally able to win their first game of 2023 – beating the back-to-back premiers.
Penrith Panthers 8
Tries: (1) Tyrone Peachy 11th
Goals: (2) Stephen Crichton 12th, 29th
It was a cold and rainy night in Bathurst, where the Panthers were hoping to climb their way into the top four; meanwhile, the Tigers were looking for their first victory of the 2023 season.
The first points of the night came from a desperate Tigers outfit, when Brandon Wakeham scored (and converted) the try for his side. The Panthers hit back not long after, with Tyrone Peachy scoring.
The Tigers found themselves in an unfortunate position early in the first half, after Brent Naden was put on report and sent to the sin bin. Being a man down so early could have been detrimental to the Tigers.
The Tigers were able to get through their 10 minute period being a man down without conceding any points, showing their desperation to claim their first win of the year.
The Panthers were denied a try with just over 10 minutes to go, however they were awarded a penalty where they took a successful attempt at a penalty goal, and – for the first time all evening – they held the lead.
The Tigers grew more and more desperate as the minutes ticked away at the end of the first half. On the stroke of half time, they were awarded a penalty, and similarly to the Panthers not long before, they took a successful attempt at a penalty goal. The Panthers and the Tigers went into the break tied 8-8.
The rain continued relentlessly, but both the Tigers and the Panthers continued to play with high energy going into the second half.
The first points of the second half also came from the Tigers, when David Nofoaluma used the wet conditions to his advantage and slid over the line in the corner to put the Tigers in the lead once again.
The Panthers’ Nathan Cleary came very close to scoring, however lost the ball just before grounding. The energy had ramped up from both sides, but particularly the Tigers, who were desperate and hopeful for their first win of the season.
The errors from the Panthers didn’t do them any favours, giving the Tigers better possession and field position. The Tigers didn’t necessarily capitalise on these opportunities, but it allowed them to gain solid momentum to keep themselves in the contest.
The Panthers’ Soni Luke took was put on report and sent to the bin, and the Tigers made an unsuccessful attempt at extending their lead by another two points.
The Panthers were denied a try in the final minutes, and the Tigers were awarded a penalty, which relieved some pressure.
The Tigers were able to hold on, and claim their first victory for 2023.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS
3 – Luke Brooks (Tigers)
2 – David Klemmer (Tigers)
1 – Apisai Koroisau (Tigers)