Rugby League

Panthers power on as Turuva triple roasts Roosters

March 29, 2024 7:36 am

[Source: NRL]

The Panthers withstood a late second-half surge from the Roosters to claim their third win of the season and their ninth win in a row against the Tri-Colours.

Panthers winger Sunia Turuva scored a hat-trick in the 22-16 win to add to his impressive try-scoring streak which has seen him cross for 11 tries in his past eight NRL games.

Before the game, some had feared the gloss of the contest may have been diminished with Penrith missing their biggest names in captain Nathan Cleary and forward leader James Fisher-Harris, but the match delivered plenty of entertainment.

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While the Panthers machine rolled into gear to claim the victory, they were forced to endure some tense moments at the end of the match as the Roosters threatened to steal a late win.

The Roosters too were missing some of their most potent go-forward weapons, with Lindsay Collins out with a hamstring injury and it showed early on in the game, with the Panthers on the front foot early.

Turuva started the point-scoring in the 10th minute crossing for the first of his three tries, before fullback Dylan Edwards crossed soon after to put the Panthers out to a 12-0 lead early.

Edwards took on the goal kicking duties for the night and converted both tries, then extended the lead with a successful penalty kick in the 32nd minute.

An impressive try to Sitili Tupouniua 30 seconds out from the half-time break gave the Roosters hope, with Sam Walker’s conversion seeing the home side trail only 14-6 at the break, despite only having 45 percent of possession.

In the second half, the Roosters started with intent, but a successful Captain’s Challenge by Panthers winger Brian To’o contesting a call of a knock on relieved the pressure for his team who were otherwise looking at defending three sets in a row on their tryline.

With the momentum now again in their favour, the Panthers continued to work their way into a winning lead, with Turuva scoring two more well-worked tries off the back of some fast passing, adding to his impressive tally so far this season.

A late try to Brandon Smith from dummyhalf saw the Roosters narrow the gap and somehow once again breath life into their hopes. When flying winger Daniel Tupou scored with 25 seconds left on the clock, it was still game on.

The Roosters declined the attempt at conversion to squeeze as much time as they could with the ball to launch an attack, but the Panthers were able to hold them out to claim their third win in a row.