NRL Match Report: Raiders succumb to Panthers in Penrith

The Raiders have gone down to the Penrith Panthers 40-31 at Panthers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A Joey Leilua hat-trick wasn't enough for the Raiders as the Panthers ran in 28 second half points to complete their comeback.

It took just two minutes for the Panthers to open the scoring with a Sione Katoa offload allowing James Tamou to step off his left foot and score next to the posts.

A penalty close to the line allowed the Raiders to take full advantage and hit back through Joey Leilua barging his way over from close range from the tap restart.

Another penalty close to the line allowed Sam Williams to pilot over a penalty goal and take the lead for the Raiders after 14 minutes.

A swift backline movement from the Panthers ended up in the hands of fullback Tyrone Peachey who sliced over out wide to regain the lead for Penrith.

The Raiders would again grab the lead back this time through Elliott Whitehead who powered his way over off a Williams short ball.

A deliberate low kick across the field from Aidan Sezer bounced perfectly for Jordan Rapana who linked well with Leilua to grab his second late in the first half.

With just seconds remaining in the first half, Jordan Rapana latched onto an intercept and went the journey down the sideline to give the Raiders a 26-12 lead at the break.

The Raiders started the second half like they finished the first but were denied a fifth try after a Rapana forward pass to fullback Nick Cotric.

The Panthers grabbed the first try of the second half after seven minutes with a Corey Harawira-Naera short ball putting Dean Whare straight through and he wrong-footed Cotric to score under the posts.

Midway through the second half and Leilua completed his hat-trick with a lovely cut-out pass from dummy half by Rapana to push the lead to 12 points.

The Raiders turned over possession on their next set of six and the Panthers made them pay as Nathan Cleary linked up with Peachey who sliced through for his second.

With 13 minutes to play, the Raiders extended their advantage to seven with Williams steering a field goal through the uprights.

The Panthers cut the lead to just three points when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was the recipient of a Peachey cut-out pass and the winger went over untouched with ten minutes to play.

Penrith grabbed the lead back on the next set of six as a James Maloney cut-out ball found Josh Mansour on the wing and he strolled down the touchline beating Cotric on the way to score next to the posts.

Maloney turned from provider to scorer to wrap up the game with a right foot step seeing him score under the posts and complete a nine-point victory for the Panthers.

Raiders 31 (Tries: Leilua 3, Whitehead, Rapana Goals: Williams 5/6 Field Goals: Williams 1/1) def by Panthers 40 (Tries: Peachey 2, Tamou, Whare, Watene-Zelezniak, Mansour, Maloney Goals: Cleary 6/7)