Panthers leave Tigers floundering - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers leave Tigers floundering

By Steve Jancetic 05/06/2009 09:38:04 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers' premiership hopes are in tatters just halfway through the NRL season after Penrith survived yet another video referee howler to run away with a 26-10 win at Leichhardt Oval.

The Tigers played with plenty of purpose but little execution as they slumped to their fifth straight loss, the joint venture club now six points adrift of the top eight despite receiving a massive helping hand from third official Chris Ward.

The final margin flattered the visitors with three tries in the final nine minutes to break open a 10-all deadlock, halfback Luke Walsh capping a strong game with two late four-pointers to consolidate Penrith's position in the top eight.

It looked like the Panthers were going to pay for another controversial video referee call after Geoff Daniela scored early in the second half to give the visitors a 10-4 lead.

The Tigers appeared set to lock it up as John Morris set sail for the line only for Shane Elford to pull off a stunning try-saving tackle.

Daniela appeared to do likewise when he trapped Benji Marshall on the last only for Ward to okay his pass to Robbie Farah for the try even though Marshall's arm and the ball had appeared to touch the ground while tackled.

Marshall missed the sideline conversion but made no mistake in tying the scores when Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva was penalised in front of his own posts for a high tackle on the Tigers playmaker.

The comeback appeared complete when Farah barged over for his second of the night only for Ward - perhaps a little gun-shy after his earlier call - to refer the decision back to the on-field referees who ruled Farah had been held up.

Completing a busy second half for the man in the box the Panthers were correctly denied twice as they searched for the lead before Brad Tighe snuck over down the right edge for the go-ahead points before Walsh's late flurry.

The Tigers started positively with Farah held up over he line, the NSW No.9 eventually sparking a blindside raid to set up Taniela Tuiaki's tenth try of the season.

But the Tigers butchered the rest of their opportunities, the Panthers making them pay when Paul Aiton scurrying over from dummy half for a soft try to put the visitors ahead.

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