NRL Round 7 – Match 3 Results: Penrith Panthers 26 v Wests Tigers 18

The in-form Panthers secured their fourth successive victory this season and surged to number two on the NRL ladder just one win behind the great Dragons, with Saturday’s impressive defeat of the Tigers at CUA Stadium in front of a massive 19,200 strong crowd.

Seemingly unstoppable, the win was Penrith’s fifth for 2010, while the Tigers have now suffered two consecutive defeats after their surprise loss to the Bulldogs in Round 6.

The home team were the first to get on the board when the Panthers Lachlan Coote scored his first of two match tries just five minutes in. Michael Gordon, who kicked all four of Penrith’s tries, then bought it up to six to nil after just seven minutes.

It wasn’t long before the Tigers were on the attack and in the 11th minute Chris Heighington opened Wests account. Benji Marshall converted the kick to tie the score six all.

The try was one of the most spectacular for the season as players ran 80 metres to get to the line.

The first half was thrilling as the teams both fought hard to match the other.

In the 26th minute the home team scored again as Michael Jennings got over from dummy-half and the kick saw them in front by six.

But the Tigers wouldn’t let that slide and matched it with a try of their own when Chris Lawrence scored in the 33rd minute. Accurate kicking by both Gordon and Marshall saw the scoreboard tied again, this time at 12 all.

Then in the final minute of the first half Michael Gordon kicked a penalty to give the Panthers a narrow two point lead heading into the break.

Back for the second half, it was another tight 40 minutes of footy, keeping the crowds on the edge of their seats.

Coote finished off his double in the 65th minute as Penrith edged further into the lead 20 – 12.

But the visitors didn’t let the Panthers feel too comfortable, as interchange forward Mark Flanagan scored a try just five minutes later and the kick bought them within two points of Penrith.

However the game was decided four minutes on as Gordon scored and converted his own try after seizing a bomb from Luke Walsh, scoring the final try of the match and handing the Panthers their 26 – 18 victory.