It’s taken 22 rounds but the Panthers have finally moved into the NRL top eight – and at the right time of the season.
Penrith were again unconvincing but did enough to finish over the top of the Wests Tigers 28-14 in front of almost 16,000 fans at Pepper Stadium.
Peter Wallace and Dylan Edwards were Penrith’s best in a game that was still in the balance with 10 minutes remaining.
The Panthers had two tries denied by the Bunker – the second quite controversially – before they finally put first points on the board through Tyrone Peachey in the 19th minute.
Penrith took a 10-8 lead into the break and extended the gap to eight points when Dylan Edwards bagged a try soon after half time, but when Luke Brooks raced over to score for the Tigers eight minutes later it set up a grandstand finish.
A mountain of possession ultimately saw Penrith pull away, with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scoring his second try in spectacular fashion and Nathan Cleary landing the sideline conversion to secure the win. Tyrone May added salt into the Tigers’ wounds with a late try just before the full-time siren.
The Panthers now sit eighth on the competition ladder ahead of a blockbuster clash with North Queensland next weekend.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.