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Tenacious Tricolours Fall Short in Close Contest with Panthers

The Sydney Roosters have fallen short in a tenacious performance against the Penrith Panthers 14-20 at Suncorp Stadium. 

Trent Robinson's line up that took the field was vastly different to the one he named on Tuesday, but there were few feathers ruffled as the Roosters continued to rise to the occasion - clawing their way back from a 20-6 deficit to come within a converted try late in the second half. 

The Tricolours showed plenty of intent with both ball in hand and in defence through the opening stages, shutting down their opponents on the try line - led by new centre/wing combination Sitili Tupouniua and Joseph Manu.

A lifting tackle on Nat Butcher put the Red, White and Blue in Panthers territory, who found themselves in pole position to land the first blow following a break from Manu, but a frantic set on the line resulted in an error at dummy-half.

That would prove to be costly as Penrith replied with a linebreak of their own, as Matt Burton found himself scoring the first try on the following set with the Panthers taking a 6-nil lead after ten minutes. 

With both sides eager to make their way downfield, uncharacteristic handling errors were made as another opportunity was lost for Easts, but they got on the front foot soon after as great pass-selection from Sam Verrills put Isaac Liu through a gap in the defence.

Verrills Hits a Hard-Running Radley

Soon enough a line dropout was forced as the right side of Manu and Tupouniua combined again with Nat Butcher showcasing his skills with a well-weighted grubber kick, and the Roosters were on the hunt once again.

It was third time lucky for the men from Bondi as Verrills replicated his earlier effort to put Victor Radley under the posts for his first try of the season, with the scores level at 6-all after 20 minutes. 

Continuing their battle through the middle, the Roosters made their way into opposition territory but their newfound momentum was halted from yet another error on halfway. A successful Captain's Challenge resulted in Penrith adding another two points to the scoreboard from a penalty kick, taking an 8-6 lead.

Further ill-discipline cruelled the Tricolours as an opportunity to capitalise was lost through a knock-on over the line, and following another penalty to Penrith, the two sides come together in a fiery exchange. 

The Tricolours found themselves down to twelve men after conceding consecutive set restarts whilst defending their try line, and faced with their biggest defensive test of the match heading into the break - only for the Panthers to take advantage of numbers with Paul Momirovski scoring. 

A tackle on a player without the ball in the final minute of the first half gave Penrith another opportunity to extend their lead, and the Roosters now had an eight point deficit heading into the sheds, with plenty of work to do in the second stanza.

Scrum Play Puts Manu Over

Adam Keighran soared high to take a towering bomb as a penalty in the ruck saw the Roosters on the front foot early in the second half - and a clever chip kick from Tedesco forced the Panthers behind their try line.

The sides would go end-to-end with a number of wayward passes causing havoc, and Tedesco stood up once again as he chopped down a charging Burton, stopping a certain try with a trademark legs tackle - but the Panthers five-eighth found the line soon after following a scrum.

Radley Forces a Mistake from a Big Hit

The Red, White and Blue's resolute tackling was rewarded following multiple sets defending their line, and a charging Egan Butcher put them on the front foot before becoming the second Butcher to force a dropout.

Patience proved to be a virtue as Manu dived over in the corner from a scrum - and the Roosters were back in the contest heading into the final quarter as the scores read 10-20

Victor Radley was sure to lift his side with a bone-rattling tackle on Momirovski, earning back the ball in the process, and the Roosters rolled to score back-to-back tries as Daniel Tupou dived over in the corner - now with a converted try the difference with just over ten minutes left in the contest.

Crichton Sets Up Tupou

A risky offload from inside their own half resulted in a knock-on, but scrambling defence saw Manu take opposition winger Taylan May into touch as he looked to score - proving to be a critical try-saving effort. 

Penrith's ill-discipline found the Red, White and Blue attacking in their territory once more, but another chance was lost following a knock-on right at the line.

Desperate to level the scores, the Roosters failed to convert their opportunities in the dying stages, going down 20-14 after a spirited effort. 


Sydney Roosters 14 (Victor Radley, Joseph Manu, Daniel Tupou tries; Adam Keighran goal) def by Penrith Panthers 20 (Matt Burton 2, Paul Momirovski tries; Matt Burton 2 goals; Matt Burton 2 penalty goals)


Stay tuned for more from including Match Highlights, Roosters TV Post-Match Interviews and Head Coach Trent Robinson's Press Conference!

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.