The team ranked number two on the NRL ladder at the end of the regular season was knocked out of the competition on Saturday night when the rising Roosters continued their powerful premiership bid with a huge 34 – 12 victory over Penrith at the Sydney Football Stadium.
In week one of the finals the Panthers were forced into Saturday’s sudden-death semi after going down to the Raiders, but it was the Chooks that nailed the final coffin into the hopes of the Mountain Men’s premiership dreams.
Sydney have been in flying form since finishing sixth on the ladder, starting with their upset win over the Tigers in the qualifiers and they continued the fairy tale finals campaign with an even bigger victory on Saturday night.
Playing a weakened Penrith outfit missing a number of injured stars including Waterhouse and Pritchard, the rampaging Roosters simply ran riot over their rivals pushing them into the next round were they will face the Titans one week out from the Grand Final.
To further ruin the Panther’s chances was the fact Michael Jennings (ankle), Luke Lewis and Gavin Cooper were all forced off the field due to injury before the first 40 minutes had even played out.
The Roosters started their seven-tries-to-two victory just 12 minutes in when star halfback Mitchell Pearce opened their account and Todd Carney converted to give them an early six point advantage.
Just one other first half try was scored when the Tricolours’ captain of the year Braith Anasta got over in the 33rd minute, and another successful kick from Carney had the Chooks up 12 – nil by the break.
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Back in the second half the Roosters were able to run in another try before the stiff Panthers could post any points when winger Sam Perrett got over in the 46th minute extending their lead 14 – nil.
Less than 10 minutes later more luck went the home side’s way when they were awarded a penalty kicked by Carney so they were 16 up.
Finally the Panthers were able to score their first try after being kept scoreless for over 60 minutes, Adrian Purtell getting over in the 62nd minute and the kick by Michael Gordon narrowing the deficit 16 – 6.
Adrian Purtell was the Panther’s first tryscorer & was at juicy odds to do so through SportsBet
But before any hopes of a sensational comeback by the visitors could be entertained, the Chooks scored two tires in three minutes to push the result beyond doubt.
First fullback Anthony Minichiello scored in the 66th minute followed by a Todd Carney special three minutes later and after the champion five-eighth booted both through the poles, there was little the Panthers could do as the Roosters held a decisive 30 – 6 lead.
Penrith were able to score a final try for the season via Wade Graham in the 74th minute, but Perrett then rubbed salt in the big cat’s wounds scoring the Roosters seventh try and his second of the night in the 77th minute and they won 34 – 12.
Sydney will start as the underdogs against the Titans at Suncorp Stadium this Friday night but could cause an upset at great odds, so sign up with SportsBet today to get in on the action!