LIVE NRL: Unlikely Panther's ‘smart’ field goal after ‘remarkable’ try-less half
The Panthers have copped a huge blow early in their clash with the Broncos with skipper Isaah Yeo ruled out after a high shot.
The incident saw Broncos forward Thomas Flegler sent to the bin, which meant Penrith could activate their 18th man, Jaeman Salmon.
The Panthers opted to take the two and Stephen Crichton slotted the goal to give his side a small lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Panthers when star back-rower Viliame Kikau left the field for a HIA after colliding heads with a teammate. But there was a sigh of relief when it was confirmed he passed.
Kikau’s return was the boost Penrith needed with still just a two-point lead over a gritty Broncos outfit.
“It is remarkable how some gun teams are troubled by oppositions you would think shouldn’t be anywhere near them but this is similar to Round 6. Penrith were frustrated by the Broncos,” Fox League commentator Dan Ginnane said.
As the clock wound down beofre the break it was the Panthers that struck, but not with a try, instead fullback Dylan Edwards slotted a two-point field goal to take his side out to a 4-nil lead.
“What a smart heads-up plays from the Panthers who play right to the whistle,” Braith Anasta said.
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Penrith welcome back Jarome Luai from injury to join Tyrone May in the halves, with Matt Burton shifting back to centre.
Api Koroisau’s suspension sees Mitch Kenny start at hooker with Brent Naden coming onto the bench.
For the Broncos Ethan Bullemor comes onto the bench, with TC Robati dropping back to 18th man.
Xavier Coates has been left out again with Corey Oates and Jamayne Isaako the preferred wingers.
The last time these two sides met was a thriller that went down to the wire and Broncos fans will be hoping they can go one better this time.
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Broncos: 1. Tesi Niu 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Brodie Croft 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington 14. Cory Paix 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Keenan Palasia 18. Ethan Bullemor 18th man: 17. TC Robati
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Stephen Crichton 4. Matt Burton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Tyrone May 8. Moses Leota 14. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Liam Martin 18. Brent Naden 18th man: 23. Jaeman Salmon
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