Penrith’s Premiership chances have taken a major blow after South Sydney pulled off a stunning upset in Townsville, winning 16-10 to advance to the Preliminary Final.
Souths produced one of their best performances of the season, stunning Penrith with incredible defence that limited Ivan Cleary’s side to just one try.
The Panthers didn’t score a point in the second half, despite being gifted numerous chances close to the line.
The game was level at 10-all at half-time.
The loss means Penrith will play the winner of tomorrow’s clash between Parramatta and Newcastle. If they win that, they’ll then face a Preliminary Final showdown with Melbourne.
“It was a tough, tight game,” said Penrith coach Ivan Cleary.
“I thought they had more opportunities than we did in the first half… in the second half we gave up a try early and that was disappointing.
“We were just grinding away and had them where we wanted them but there was three or four opportunities we just didn’t ice.”
Cleary rejected the suggestion his side panicked once they fell behind.
“It was one of those nights,” he said.
“Credit to Souths. They obviously put a lot into that game.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.