The Canberra Raiders NYC team’s two match winning streak has come to an emphatic halt, as the Penrith Panthers were able to complete a comprehensive 42-12 victory at Sportingbet Stadium this afternoon.
It was a dominant performance from the Panthers in the 2nd half which saw them win their first game for the season, in a game where Canberra struggled with the wet ground, and a combination of handling errors and poor defence culminated in the heavy defeat.
Penrith were given the perfect start to the game following an error from Patrick Mago which gifted the Panthers great field position. The Panthers were unable to capitalise following some strong defence from the Raiders.
The Panthers looked to have scored first through centre Waqa Blake, but he was ruled to have been off-side. Canberra continued their trend of slow starts to games this season, with another error in their own half.
Penrith finally made them pay on the scoreboard when back rower Attwood crossed under the posts in the 7th minute, the try was converted to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
Canberra wasn’t scoreless for long and on the very next possession the Panthers were unable to hold the kick off. From the scrum, a nice set play allowed an overlap and Brenko Lee crossed for his 2nd try of the season.
Mago was unable to convert the try and the Panthers held a slender 6-4 lead.
Canberra was dominant in possession, but were unable to capitalise on their field dominance, with handling errors close to the line costing the Young Raiders a perfect try scoring opportunity.
Some undisciplined play led to the Panthers having a trifecta of sets 10 metres out from the Canberra line, this time the Raiders defence was solid forcing an error from Panthers centre Brent Naden.
On the next set Canberra were able to make good metres, and quick hands from Jack Creith set up a short side try for Lachlan Hurst in the corner. Mago was again unable to convert from a tough angle, giving the Raiders a slender 8-6 lead after 20 minutes.
Canberra again had the Panthers under pressure, but some good defence from the Panthers forced an error from Raiders’ half back Andrew Heffernan. Both sides were undisciplined in the first half, with multiple penalties being awarded to both sides.
The wet surface was causing havoc on the quality of the game, with a number of unforced errors from both sides ruining quality passages of play.
Canberra was given a numerical advantage, when Panthers interchange player Jordan Hall was sent to sin bin with 8 minutes remaining in the first half. Matt Frawley was able to give the Raiders a repeat set, but Canberra wasn’t prepared for the short drop out which caught the Raiders napping.
Panther’s halfback Sam Scarlett made the Raiders pay just before half time, as some missed tackles allowed him to stroll over near the corner, the conversion from Cartwright was unsuccessful as it struck the uprights, but it was the Panthers with a slender 10-8 advantage at the half time break.
They extended their lead thanks to back to back sets on the Raiders’ line, and an overlap of the Canberra defence led to a try in the corner to Panthers’ winger Joshua Jay. The conversion was unsuccessful from Cartwright and the Panthers led 14-8 after 44 minutes.
Canberra was under mounting pressure and the frustration was evident when Mago was placed on report for a high shot in the 47th minute. The result from the next set of six for the Panthers was a try, with Blake able to cut through the Raiders’ defence and score near the corner.
Harawira nailed this conversion, and Penrith had quickly skipped out to a 20-8 lead after 48 minutes.
Patience was wearing thin for referee Lawrence McDonnell and following consecutive penalties Tevita Pangai Junior was sent to the sin-bin in the 49th minute. Canberra’s defence was suddenly leaking tries, as Cartwright was able to skip through a hole and score under the post in the 51st minute, Harawira made the conversion to take the Panthers to a commanding 26-8 lead.
It wasn’t getting any better for the Raiders, Scarlett put in a chip kick which found a gap between the defensive line and Garard. The bounce eluded Garard and Blake was able to take the ball and score under the post, Harawira converted to give the Panthers a 32 to 8 lead after 58 minutes.
Mitch Barnett produced a small highlight for the Raiders defence, monstering Panthers back rower Cartwright, it was little consolation for the monstering the Raiders were receiving on the scoreboard.
It was a day where the Raiders were unable to get any sort of momentum going in attack, this was highlighted when Creith looked like he was certain to score, only to drop the ball as he went to put it down for the try.
On the next set the Panthers were able to find space on the wing, and interchange player Wellington Albert charged over the much smaller Garard in the corner, Harawira converted the try taking the Panthers lead to a dominant 30 point margin with ten minutes remaining.
Canberra managed to get a consolation try to Heffernan with 5 minutes remaining, it wasn’t their day with the kicking tee either as the third consecutive conversion for the Raiders was unsuccessful.
Panther’s winger compounded the Raiders woes when he was able to intercept a kick and run 75 metres to score a try with just under a minute remaining in the match, Hawira missed the conversion and the Panthers completed a comprehensive 42-12 victory over the young Green Machine.
Penrith Panthers 42 defeated Canberra Raiders 12:
Raiders tries: Lee, Hurst, Heffernan; Goals: N/A
Panthers tries: Blake 2, Atwood, Scarlett, Jay, Albert, Cartwright, Aiono; Goals: Harawira 4, Cartwright