Panthers beat Titans, Jennings injured - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers beat Titans, Jennings injured

Laine Clark 04/06/2011 09:40:05 PM Comments (0)

Scans on Sunday looked set to determine Michael Jennings' State of Origin II fate after the NSW centre suffered an ankle strain in Penrith's 23-10 NRL win on the Gold Coast.

A frustrated Jennings kept his fingers crossed he would be named in the NSW side on Sunday - but admitted he did not want to give Blues coach Ricky Stuart "false hope".

Jennings - the Blues' best in Origin I - conceded he would be "struggling" if asked to complete a fitness test on Monday for NSW.

"Of course I want to play but I don't want to give him (Stuart) false hope," Jennings said.

"If I have a (fitness) deadline on Monday, I would be struggling.

"But I will get scans tomorrow and see how it goes."

In a rollercoaster 100th game, Jennings broke his NRL season try-scoring drought in the first half - only to hobble off early in the second.

Jennings fell awkwardly in a Bodene Thompson tackle in the 49th minute and tried to play on, only to be taken off for treatment soon afterwards.

He tried to return after a painkilling injection but was held back by medical staff.

"All his weight fell on my ankle and it went. For a while I thought I was sweet but I just couldn't run," Jennings said.

Penrith doctor David Abraham said it was a recurrence of an ankle strain Jennings suffered in last year's finals.

"I don't think it is as serious as last year but if it flares up, he won't be able to play (Origin) at all," he said.

Dr Abraham said he had already liaised with NSW medical staff, but was not told if Jennings would be given time to prove his fitness.

If only Jennings had Penrith coach Matthew Elliott's confidence.

"He will be okay. I think. He is an unbelievable healer," Elliott said.

But he later added: "When the medical staff start using Latin words (about an injury), that is bad."

Jennings' milestone match began well enough, crossing in the 14th minute for his first NRL try of the season.

After a Scott Prince kick ricocheted off Trent Waterhouse at the 50m mark, the Panthers backrower regathered and set up a flying Jennings.

It ended Jennings' 11-game scoring drought - the worst of his career.

Despite losing Jennings, Penrith (5-7 record) still notched up their third win in four games to maintain their push for a top eight finish.

It was a remarkable turnaround from a team which lost six of their first eight games.

They did not have it all their own way on Saturday night - after trailing 10-4 at halftime, the Titans locked up the scores after a Preston Campbell solo try in the 43rd minute.

But the Titans paid for fundamental errors, as winger Adrian Purtell (54th minute) and pivot Travis Burns (80th) sealed the result.

Halfback Luke Walsh also potted over a 72nd-minute field goal.

It was the fourth straight loss for the dead-last Titans (3-9).

"We are hurting but we will hang in there and try and turn it around," Titans captain Scott Prince said.

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