Viliame Kikau has produced a stunning, almost unbelievable defensive effort after the siren to save Penrith from a heartbreaking defeat to Melbourne.
Kikau – knocked over earlier in the play – somehow got his hand under the ball to stop Justin Olam from scoring an almost certain try that would have given Melbourne victory.
As it turned out the Panthers had stolen the win in the dying minutes – Kurt Capewell scoring and Stephen Crichton converting to give the home side a 12-10 lead heading into the final minute.
The Storm managed to get the ball back from a short kick-off, giving them a chance to steal the game back – but Kikau had other ideas, saving the day after a frantic final few seconds.
It was a stunning finish to one of the great games of the season so far.
It mattered little that some of the biggest names from last year’s Grand Final between the two clubs were missing – the sides fought out a fierce battle that had fans on the edge of their seats from the opening minutes.
The sides were locked at six-all at half-time after Brandon Smith and Charlie Staines both grabbed four pointers in the first half, and much of the second half was played with the scores deadlocked.
Melbourne went up 10-6 when Josh Addo-Carr scored out wide of a scrum play, before Capewell’s moment of magic in the dying minutes secured the game for Penrith.
It wasn’t all good news for the Panthers – Dylan Edwards and Spencer Leniu both suffered injuries that could force them out of next week’s clash against Manly.