Panthers dent Raiders hopes in 27-14 win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers dent Raiders hopes in 27-14 win

By Ed Jackson 18/07/2009 07:54:40 PM Comments (0)

Penrith have maintained their NRL top-eight status and severely dented Canberra's finals hopes with a 27-14 win at CUA Stadium on Saturday night.

The Panthers ran in four tries to three in front of 8,074 fans to leave the Raiders six points outside the eight with just seven matches to play.

The Raiders scored all their points in the second-half but a terrible first 40 minutes sealed their fate.

Only a one-man defensive display by fullback Josh Dugan, making a surprise return after injuring a knee last week against Newcastle, limited the damage to 18-0 by the main break.

Frank Puletua opened the scoring for the Panthers with just his third NRL career try in the sixth minute, with video referee Russell Smith giving the green light despite Dugan appearing to have held up the Panthers prop.

Young winger Junior Tia Kilifi extended the lead to 12 in the 17th minute, Smith again awarding the try as the Raiders called for an obstruction.

And Smith had the Raiders fuming once more in the 34th minute when winger Daniel Vidot's effort was ruled out after Dugan was ruled to have knocked-on in the build-up.

NSW forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (knee) and skipper Alan Tongue (rib) limped off the field late in the half before Wade Graham burst through some limp defence to send Brad Tighe clear.

Tongue returned in the second half to spark a Raiders' fightback with Terry Campese getting the visitors on the board in the 51st minute.

But despite tries from Vidot and Jarrod Croker, another Panthers' four-pointer to Joseph Paulo, Michael Gordon's penalty goal and a late field goal by outstanding halfback Luke Walsh sealed the win for the Panthers.

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