NYC Match Report: Panthers Pounce on Young Raiders
Three tries in the opening 10 minutes was too much for the Canberra Raiders NYC side to comeback from as they fell victim to a 48-28 defeat at the hands of the Penrith Panthers.
The Raiders struggled to contain the zippy Penrith side early in the match with rising star Andre Niko the shining light for the Raiders bagging a double and converting well.
The Raiders were on the back foot from the get go as the Panthers opened the scoring after just two minutes of play.
Swinging the ball from left to right the Panthers found some space down the sideline for Daniel Brown to cross over and open the scoring.
Following the successful conversion the Panthers started to find their groove, running in two more tries in the opening 10 minutes to gift the Raiders an early 16-point deficit.
But after making their way into the Panthers half for the first time in the match, Brett Whites men made the most of their time in enemy territory.
Quick hands across the field put speedster Andre Niko into open space where he flew past the cover defence to open the scoring for the Raiders.
Niko then added the extras on his own try to bring the score to 16-6 with 27 minutes remaining in the half.
However, the four pointer wasn’t enough to halt the Panthers momentum as some scrappy defence led to another three tries for the young Panthers outfit to move the score line to 34-6 with 10 minutes left in the opening half.
But the resilient Raiders weren’t done yet, running in two quick tries on the stroke of half time to bring the Raiders within striking distance of Penrith.
After three successive raids on the Panthers line, a great ball from captain Erin Clark put big man William Samuel over next to the posts.
Then just four minutes later, a 70m kick return from Mikaele Ravalawa put the Raiders on the Panthers line before Andre Niko crashed over for his second of the day.
The late flurry of tries moved the score line to 34-16 as the two teams walked into the sheds for the half-time address.
Shortly after play got back underway the Raiders held onto the momentum they found late in the first half to cross over after just eight minutes into the second period.
With the score-line reading 34-22, the Raiders found themselves within two converted tries of Penrith and looked primed to pull off a stunning comeback with 30 minutes still left to play.
But two tries within 15 minutes was the nail in the coffin for the young green machine as the Panthers built the score line up to 46 points.
A late consultation try gave Mikaele Ravalawa his second for the day but the clinical Panthers were too good for the Raiders cruising home to a 48-28 victory.
The Raiders now come up against the Newcastle Knights at their final home game of the season.