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Live: Penrith Panthers v Canberra Raiders

Date

Nathan Gilson

FINAL SCORE: Raiders 20-10. Thanks for joining me for the Raiders and Panthers blog. The Raiders keep their finals hopes alive while the Panthers will lick their wounds for another week and wait for the end of 2012.

 

Full-time: The Raiders produce their second win in a row, on the same day that the Bulldogs are going for their 11th. It says a lot about a team which is just managing to hang onto its finals hopes. It wasn't a great performance from either side, but the Raiders had too much in the second half. Josh McCrone's try was the game defining moment, while the Panthers produced too many errors. Michael Gordon was brilliant for the Panthers, while Josh Mansour impressed in the first half.

For the Raiders Josh McCrone was instrumental, while Joe Picker worked tirelessly in the second 40. A big defensive after letting in the opening try of the match was the difference for Canberra.

78th minute: Penrith has run out of time after a fifth tackle play which took them to both wings and included at least two kicks. The Raiders hold on, but not a pretty win.

76th minute: Former Panther Sandor Earl comes up with a huge play with an intercept while running back towards his own line. Whatever the Panthers' crimes today, they have definitely been throwing the ball around. Unlucky there.

74th minute: TRY! The short kick off pays off for the Panthers as Michael Gordon storms over after David Simmons came down with the ball. Gordon runs through a grand canyon in the Raiders defence. Walsh misses the conversion. Raiders 20-10.

73rd minute: GOAL! Croker puts it straight through. Raiders 20-6.

72nd minute: The Panthers give away a penalty in front of their own posts, 20 metres out. Croker will line up the shot at goal.

69th minute: The Panthers make a break and then with a flick pass give the ball straight to Joe Picker for an intercept. It's all action!

66th minute: Blake Ferguson gets held up after a barnstorming run. The Raiders then drop the ball from the next play. Of course they do... It's just one of those days for both these teams.

64th minute: The Panthers give away ANOTHER penalty early in a set. I can't think why they are propping up the table?

62nd minute: With less than 20 minutes left the Raiders should have this in the bag... Cue the late comeback.

59th minute: TRY! Joe Picker barges over from a lucky bounce off a McCrone kick. The Raiders are starting to wind up now. Croker converts. Raiders 18-6.

58th minute: The Raiders get away with holding Tim Grant one metre from the line and then get a penalty early in their set. Big break for the visitors.

53rd minute: TRRRRYYY! Raiders half Josh McCrone picks up a kick and runs 70 metres to score. Mr Mouthguard comes up with a huge play. Croker converts. Raiders 12-6.

51st minute: Josh Dugan, as is his routine, breaks three tackles with a brilliant run but then stays down with what looks like a head knock. I was starting to get worried the Raiders fullback might actually make it through the game without some kind of injury.

49th minute: Blake Ferguson comes up with a huge one on one strip to stop the Panthers in their tracks.Brilliant stuff.

48th minute: How about that! Lucky bounce off the Oak goalposts for the Raiders with the ball looking like it was going to go dead after beating a Canberra player. Milk carton posts obviously like the men in green after Josh Dugan's try against the Broncos last week.

47th minute: TRY! It's ruled that Croker didn't get his hands to the ball initially and he comes down with it for his 16th try of the season. Benefit of the doubt! The four sweetest words in the English language for the Raiders right now. Croker converts his own try. 6-6

46th minute: On the back of the Jennings penalty Croker touches down after a McCrone bomb. They're going upstairs.

43rd minute: Joe Picker cops a high shot from Michael Jennings, who's going on report again. Two strikes now for the NSW centre.

41st minute: The second half kicks off with Canberra to get use use of the pill.

Half-time:  After an opening that promised plenty of points, neither team has been able to finish off any number of good chances. Ball security has been poor, however the Penrith back three of Josh Mansour, Michael Gordon and David Simmons have been brilliant coming out of their own end. The Raiders are still in it though and look dangerous in attack. It's hard to see the score staying low for long in the second half. Panthers 6-0.

40th minute: Former Panther Sandor Earl has acquitted himself well with limited opportunities in the first half. Good metres again from the new Raider.

38th minute: For all the ingenuity on show at Centrebet Stadium, it's easy to see why these two sides are in the bottom half of the table. Handling errors and stupid penalties abound in this first stanza. Still anybody's game though.

36th minute: Papalii and Jennings were both put on report for those earlier incidents.

34th minute: end to end stuff here. The Panthers force another drop out.

32nd minute: Now Shaun Fensom loses the ball inside the Panthers 20. The Raiders just keep shooting themselves in the foot.

30th minute: Josh Papalii has returned the favour by taking out Panthers five-eighth Lachlan Coote with shoulder after a dummy run. The Raiders give up possession in the opposition 20. Silly stuff from the young forward. To quote Gus Gould 'No, no, no, no, no!'.

28th minute: Josh McCrone gets absolutely smashed after a kick with Michael Jennings taking out McCrone's legs late. He's lucky to stay out of the bin with that ridiculous tackle. Back to back penalties now for the Raiders.

27th minute: The Panthers once again make brilliant metres and only an attempted miracle ball stops their progress. The Raiders get out of danger with an offside penalty.

24th minute: Josh Dugan makes a brilliant bust and sensibly holds onto the ball when confronted with the Panthers fullback. Raiders get their first real chance inside the Panthers 20.

23rd minute: Panthers winger Josh Mansour has been inspired in this first half. He's making metres every time he gets the ball and making sure Penrith are bursting out of their own end every time.

20th minute: The Panthers are playing like a team possessed. Just not much to show for it unfortunately. All kinds of offloads coming from the men in black. We'll see a bit of tunnelball next.

17th minute: Blake Ferguson opts not to pass and gets taken into touch. He's getting obligatory brain snap out early in this one.

14th minute: Sandor Earl draws a penalty and 10 metres out from their own line the Raiders opt to take the tap. Shillington makes more than 20 metres. The Raiders are thinking on their feet. What's going on?!

12th minute: The Panthers get held up over the line, on the back of another Raiders penalty. They're shooting themselves in the foot early on. The Panthers force a drop out.

11th minute: Now its the Raiders turn to fling the ball about. Josh McCrone leading the charge, with Travis Waddell also making good ground.

10th minute: A great bust up the middle from Michael Gordon, but his inside pass to NSW rep Tim Grant is spilled and the Raiders get out of jail. The Panthers look dangerous, offloads aplenty from the home side.

9th minute: The Raiders get their first real use of the ball and Josh McCrone puts a nice kick into touch to give them a breather. A quality start from the Panthers though.

7th minute: Danger signs for the Raiders as it looks like their Jekyll and Hyde performances are set to continue.

4th minute: TRY! Josh Dugan's been penalised less than 10m from the Raiders line and the Panthers swing it out wide to Josh Mansour. Sandor Earl gets left out to dry against his former club and can't do anything about it. Luke Walsh converts. Panthers 6-0

3rd minute: It already looks like the Panthers are going to throw the ball around and they've drawn the first penalty from the Raiders. Good field position for the home side.

Kick-off: The Raiders put the ball up for the Panthers who put together a good first set. We're underway at Centrebet Stadium.

Pre-game: The Canberra Raiders take on the Penrith Panthers in a must win match. The Panthers have nothing to play for, which can be dangerous for a side playing for their season. The Raiders will have to do it without big prop Dane Tilse, who raced home early this morning with his wife expecting their first child. Tilse has been in good form, so it's a big loss for the Canberra side.

Preamble: Catch all the live action as the Raiders and Panthers do battle.

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