Panthers hold off a depleted Storm to win 22-16

The Panthers had not won in Melbourne since 2005. Today that changed. Penrith had to scrap for their win and overcome two sin bins in the first half to Josh Mansour and James Tamou.

Even though they lead 10-6, the Storm were unable to overcome doubles to both Waqa Blake and Josh Mansour

The Storm were playing with a team depleted of stars, losing both Cameron Munster and Brodie Croft to knee injuries and their fullback Billy Slater away on compassionate leave. With Munster injured, Scott Drinkwater debued for the Storm joining Ryley Jacks in the halves.

A penalty goal to Cameron Smith opened the scoring but the Panthers hit back in the 14th minute with a Try to Mansour who twisted his way in for their first try.

The first turning point came when Mansour was sin binned for a professional foul.

The Panthers' lack of numbers was soon taken advantage of by Felise Kaufusi who crossed with 12 minutes left in the first half selling a dummy to James Maloney.

The Panthers racked up over 10 penalties to the Storms two. The final count ended up 12-6 for the Storm. The Panthers again were down to 12 men as Tamou paid the price for being offside

Smith kicked a couple of penalty goals while Cleary was having an uncharacteristic night with the boot, landing only one from six attempts

The Panthers shot out of blocks in the 2nd half, with Mansour scoring his second try down their left edge. Just minutes later Maloney's cross-field kick bounced its way into Blake's hands to grab a 14-10 lead.

Ryan Hoffman made it onto the ground in the 55th minute but couldn't halt the now emboldened Panthers. Just as the Storm were pressing their attack a Cleary grubber in broken play let Blake extended the Panthers lead after scoring his second.

Penrith winger Christian Chrichton's 50-metre run after a diving intercept extended the lead to 22-10 with only six minutes remaining. Drinkwater scored a late consolation try in the 75th minute but the Panthers showed real determination to hold off the Storm to take the win.

Storm
  • Felise Kaufusi 26' (Try)
  • Scott Drinkwater 75' (Try)
  • Cameron Smith 27' (Conversion)
  • Cameron Smith 75'(Conversion)
  • Cameron Smith 6' (Penalty)
  • Cameron Smith 32' (Penalty)
Panthers
  • Josh Mansour 12'
  • Josh Mansour 45'
  • Waqa Blake 51'
  • Waqa Blake 69'
  • Christian Crichton 72' 
  • Nathan Cleary 37'  (Conversion)


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