Panthers roll over Wests Tigers 26-18 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers roll over Wests Tigers 26-18

By David Beniuk 25/04/2010 10:28:47 AM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matt Elliott denies Melbourne's demise as an NRL premiership threat is the boost his table-topping Panthers need after they accounted for the Wests Tigers 26-18 at CUA Stadium on Saturday.

The Panthers' fourth straight win saw them join St George Illawarra, who play the Sydney Roosters on Sunday, on 10 points at the top of the ladder in a week the competition was blown wide open by the Storm's salary cap scandal.

But Elliott is adamant Melbourne's inability to earn points has not suddenly turned his side into premiership opportunists.

"I'd be disappointed if we were more encouraged by not having Melbourne there," he said.

"I don't think our goals or the standards that we set for ourselves had anything to do with Melbourne being in or out of the race."

Elliott was also wary of any hype around his side's ladder position after five wins from seven games.

"I'd rather be where we are than on two, there you go," was all Elliott would say.

A Lachlan Coote double helped Penrith in a high quality battle, which didn't live up to the pre-match expectation of a tryscoring fest.

The Panthers scored four tries to three, with Michael Gordon booting five from five, in front of 19,220 fans, believed to be the biggest crowd at the foot of the Blue Mountains since 2004.

The Panthers had forced the Tigers to play catch-up in the first half.

Penrith were on the board in just the fifth minute when Frank Pritchard offloaded for Coote's first try, but six minutes later the Tigers posted a contender for try of the year.

A Robbie Farah bust began an 80-metre effort finished by Chris Heighington, with Lote Tuqiri also showing superb hands in the movement.

Michael Jennings helped the home side to 12-6 with a superb solo effort from dummy half in the 26th minute before Benji Marshall put Chris Lawrence through a hole seven minutes later.

"The most satisfying thing is we didn't quite execute the way that we would like to but we just showed enough grit and composure," Elliott said.

The Panthers led 14-12 at the break and it stayed that way until Coote's second in the 64th minute, superbly laid on by in-form lock Luke Lewis.

Tigers interchange forward Mark Flanagan helped his side back to 20-18 with a try the 70th minute.

But flying winger Gordon clinched the deal when he grabbed a Luke Walsh bomb in the 74th minute.

"I think it's our worst second half, from the point of view of our attack and our completions and pressure mounting on an opposition, that we've had since I've been here," Tigers coach Tim Sheens said.

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