Updated August 06, 2017 18:27:50
The Penrith Panthers’ finish strong in a 28-14 win over the Wests Tigers while Manly virtually hands the Storm the minor premiership with a win over the Roosters.
The Panthers have moved into the NRL top eight after crawling to a nervous 28-14 win over the Wests Tigers at Penrith Stadium.
The match was in the balance until Panthers winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak dived in at the corner to score and edge his side to a six-point lead in the 74th minute.
Playing in his first match against his dad, Tigers coach Ivan Cleary, Panthers half-back Nathan Cleary then nailed the sideline conversion to kick his team out to beyond a converted try.
Five-eighth Tyrone May sealed his team’s fifth straight victory with a try in the final minutes, lifting the Panthers past fading St George Illawarra into eighth spot on the ladder with four games to go in the regular season.
With a 19-5 advantage in plays inside the opposition 20-metre zone in the second half, a highly-strung Panthers had trouble putting the Tigers away in front of the healthy 15,170 home crowd.
But the weight of possession told on the tiring Tigers, and the blow came when Panthers forward Corey Harawira-Naera broke into the backfield to set up Watene-Zelezniak.
For the gallant Tigers, the loss means they remain in a battle with Newcastle to avoid the wooden spoon after the Knights scored back-to-back wins over the past fortnight.
The Panthers were leading by two after the break when Dylan Edwards powered over from close range, however the Tigers went 90m in two plays to hit back through Luke Brooks.
In a closely-fought first half, Penrith were denied twice early by the bunker for players obstructing play by standing in the defensive line.
But there was no doubting Tyrone Peachey’s opening try when he picked up an errant pass from Matt McIlwrick to race the 20 metres to the tryline.
The Tigers responded through Tuimoala Lolohea’s long ball to David Nofoaluma for a try, before the Panthers kicked out again courtesy of a well-executed right-side shift for Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
But the visitors made it two tries apiece on the half-time siren after centre Esan Marsters drew three defenders and squeezed a pass for Nofoaluma’s second try.
The Tom Trbojevic-led Manly Sea Eagles have revived their NRL top four hopes with a 36-18 upset of Sydney Roosters at Brookvale Oval.
After conceding 92 points over the past fortnight, the Sea Eagles bounced back in emphatic fashion with a come-from-behind victory over the second-placed Roosters.
The result opened up a four-point gap between ladder leaders Melbourne and the Roosters, all but sealing the minor premiership for the Storm with four rounds remaining.
The Roosters looked to be running away with the game after jumping out to an 18-4 lead before Trbojevic scored either side of half-time to get back within two points.
And when Lewis Brown crashed over from dummy-half with 26 minutes remaining the Sea Eagles had the lead again.
Trbojevic shook off the effects of a knee to the ribs from Latrell Mitchell and fittingly threw the last pass for Brad Parker’s match-sealing try in the 69th minute.
Half-back Daly Cherry-Evans was again a standout with his kicking game pinning the Roosters in their own half for most of the second 40 minutes and was rewarded with a late try.
The Roosters carried an 18-10 lead into half-time after Mitchell and his Roosters left-side teammates ran riot in the first half.
Mitchell gave the Tri-colours the lead for the first time when he stripped the ball from Cherry-Evans on the Manly line to dive over.
However, questions remained about the legitimacy of the four-pointer after Daniel Tupou fell off the tackle just moments earlier.
Mitchell then broke the Manly line from inside his own half with Luke Keary crossing to make it 18-4.
Frank Winterstein combined with Trbojevic to keep the home side in touch at the break before the home side came home with four unanswered second-half tries.
The Roosters also have a headache on their hands after winger Tupou left the field midway through the second half with a groin injury.
Topics:nrl, rugby-league, sport, sydney-2000, penrith-2750, manly-2095, brookvale-2100, balmain-2041, nsw, australia
First posted August 06, 2017 13:27:59
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