PANTHERS BURY BULLDOGS’ HOPE
PENRITH have put pressure on St George Illawarra to hold on to their spot in the NRL top eight after outlasting a stubborn Canterbury outfit 16- 8 at Pepper Stadium.
With scores level at 8- 8 at halftime, the game remained in the balance last night until an acrobatic try by Dallin Watene- Zelezniak put the Panthers ahead in the 57th minute. That followed an impressive defensive display by the Bulldogs, who held the Panthers out for 18 straight plays on their goalline midway through the second half.
But a crucial Kerrod Holland turnover gave the home side one more crack, and Waqa Blake put Watene- Zelezniak over in the corner to the delight of the 8727 crowd.
A handful of errors invited the Bulldogs back into the contest but the visitors continued to struggle in attack and failed to convert.
Penrith’s Tyrone Peachey sealed the win when he scored after a Will Hopoate fumble in the 70th minute.
The win extends the Panthers’ winning streak to four and lifts them to 24 points alongside the eighth- placed Dragons who face Newcastle tomorrow. The defeat ends the faint finals hopes of the Bulldogs.
Penrith took an 8- 0 lead inside 20 minutes with a Nathan Cleary penalty goal and Peter Wallace’s try.
But momentum swung on two tackle- one errors by Watene- Zelezniak, with Bulldogs five- eighth Josh Reynolds taking advantage by scoring.
The second blunder from Watene- Zelezniak led to Holland levelling the scores with a penalty goal.
Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano lasted five minutes before bruising his sternum in the first half, while Panthers counterpart Leilani Latu broke his jaw early in the second period.