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Panthers power on as Turuva triple roasts Roosters

The Panthers withstood a late second-half surge from the Roosters to claim their third win of the season and their ninth win in a row against the Tri Colours.

Panthers winger Sunia Turuva scored a hat-trick in the 22-16 win to add to his impressive try-scoring streak which has seen him cross for 11 tries in his past eight NRL games. 

Before the game, some had feared the gloss of the contest may have been diminished with Penrith missing their biggest names in captain Nathan Cleary and forward leader James Fisher-Harris, but the match delivered plenty of entertainment.

While the Panthers machine rolled into gear to claim the victory, they were forced to endure some tense moments at the end of the match as the Roosters threatened to steal a late win.

The Roosters too were missing some of their most potent go-forward weapons, with Lindsay Collins out with a hamstring injury and it showed early on in the game, with the Panthers on the front foot early.

Sunia Turuva Try

Turuva started the point-scoring in the 10th minute crossing for the first of his three tries, before fullback Dylan Edwards crossed soon after to put the Panthers out to a 12-0 lead early.

Edwards took on the goal kicking duties for the night and converted both tries, then extended the lead with a successful penalty kick in the 32nd minute. 

An impressive try to Sitili Tupouniua 30 seconds out from the half-time break gave the Roosters hope, with Sam Walker's conversion seeing the home side trail only 14-6 at the break, despite only having 45 percent of possession. 

Sitili Tupouniua Try

In the second half, the Roosters started with intent, but a successful Captain's Challenge by Panthers winger Brian To'o contesting a call of a knock on relieved the pressure for his team who were otherwise looking at defending three sets in a row on their tryline. 

With the momentum now again in their favour, the Panthers continued to work their way into a winning lead, with Turuva scoring two more well-worked tries off the back of some fast passing, adding to his impressive tally so far this season.

A late try to Brandon Smith from dummyhalf saw the Roosters narrow the gap and somehow once again breath life into their hopes. When flying winger Daniel Tupou scored with 25 seconds left on the clock, it was still game on.

The Roosters declined the attempt at conversion to squeeze as much time as they could with the ball to launch an attack, but the Panthers were able to hold them out to claim their third win in a row. 

Match Snapshot

  • The Panthers have now won their past nine games against the Roosters.
  • Panthers winger Sunia Turuva has now scored 11 tries in his past eight NRL games after crossing for his hat-trick. 
  • The Roosters thought they had scored their first try when Joey Manu went over after showing both strength and acrobatics to go over the top of Penrith defenders, but the try was disallowed by the Bunker due to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves being deemed to have taken out Penrith fullback Dylan Edwards.
  • Filling in for injured halfback Nathan Cleary, Adelaide-born Brad Schneider performed his role with aplomb for the Panthers, while fullback Dylan Edwards stepped up with a try, a try assist, seven tackle breaks and 265 run metres.
  • Penrith centre Izack Tago has been in impressive form of late and finished the match with two try assists and two line break assists. 
  • Mavrik Geyer, son of Penrith 1991 grand final hero Mark, made his NRL debut off the bench, coming on in the 51st minute. 
  • Roosters forward Nat Butcher was placed on report.
  • Panthers forward Matthew Eisenhuth passed his HIA halfway through the second half. 
  • Liam Martin went off with a suspected AC joint injury, but returned to the game.

Play of the Game 

While Sunia Turuva may have scored three of Penrith's tries, none were quite as fun to watch as the effort from Dylan Edwards in the first half. The team moved the ball from one side of the field to the other thanks to a dancing Jarome Luai, before some hot potato passing was finished by a good old grubber and regather from Edwards.

Dylan Edwards Try

What They Said

Roosters: Round 4

"We were well beaten tonight ... I liked the fact that we had the ability to go after it tonight and hold it that close, but we were well beaten in a lot of areas there. Field position is such a big one and possession, that was well dominated by them, so it was disappointing to go in. We had a wide range in quality tonight. I thought they tackled better, their grips and tightness was better than ours ... I didn't feel like the physicality was huge tonight from either team, I didn't think anyone ran the ball exceptionally well, but I thought their tackling was far better than ours." - Roosters coach Trent Robinson

Panthers: Round 4

"I thought we pretty much did everything we wanted to do throughout the game. We probably got a little bit tired in the second half, we had a lot of ball and we just paddled around for a while there, which probably led to the end of the game being a bit of a scramble, but all-in-all, I was very happy. I think defence was a really important part of tonight's game, it is every week, but when you have got those key combinations that have changed, it's going to take a while for that to work, especially against such a good team, so it was important that our defence was really solid tonight which meant our attack wasn't under pressure and the boys did it and I thought that set up the game for us." - Panthers coach Ivan Cleary

What's Next

Next week, the Panthers will head to 4 Pines Park to face the Sea Eagles.

The Roosters will go up against the Bulldogs at Accor Stadium.



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.