Friday 2nd October at Panthers Stadium
Penrith 29 – Tries: Cleary (3), Crichton (1), Mansour (1); Goals: Cleary (4); Field goals: Cleary (1) | Sydney Roosters 28
The fourth placed Roosters hit out of the blocks fast, scoring the first two tries to lead 10-0 inside the first 10 minutes.
The minor premiers posted their first points in the 15th minute when Viliame Kikau created a two on one passed to an unmarked Josh Mansour and acrobatically evaded the converging cover defence by leaping over in the far corner. It remained unconverted with the Roosters maintaining a 6 point lead.
This lead was soon wiped out when Dylan Edwards picked up a Liam Martin offload that dribbled on the ground and passed it to Nathan Cleary who sprinted through a defensive gap to cross adjacent to the right upright, with his conversion locking it up at 10-all.
Penrith had the lead just short of the 30 minute mark when a low Jarome Luai drubber towards the left upright was scooped up by Cleary only on metre short of the line and natural momentum from the dive carried him over the line adjacent to the upright pads.
Cleary had a first half hat trick with only four minutes remaining when Stephen Crichton ran on to an inside pass from Luai and broke the line 35 metres out, finding a looming Cleary in support to his right and a well timed pass had him cross over once again adjacent to the left upright. Cleary’s conversion made it 22-10 at half time.
Eight minutes after the resumption, a shallow cross field bomb at close range to the Roosters line was cleaned up by Tyrone May, who fired a pass to Crichton and threw a small dummy to create a small gap, which he duly sliced through to barge over.
Cleary’s conversion had completed a 28 unanswered points surge.
However, two Roosters converted tries had seen the Panthers lead cut down to just 6 heading into the final five minutes.
With just under three minutes remaining, Cleary calmly potted a field goal from about 25 metres to make it an all-important 7 point lead.
But the Panthers would concede a penalty on the restart when they did not allow the short kick off from the Roosters to travel the required 10 metres. From the ensuing set, the Roosters were able to score a converted try to reduce it to just 1with only two minutes remaining.
Inside the last minute of play, the Roosters were deep in the Panthers defensive half, and an unsuccessful field goal attempt was taken by Mansour in the field of play, and did the obligatory go slow inside the final 30 seconds as the Panthers held on for a one point victory, and earning a spot in the grand final qualifier two weeks later and also extend their remarkable winning streak to 16.