Sunday 14th September 2003 at Penrith Stadium
Penrith 28 – Tries: Lewis (2), Girdler (1), Ross (1), Sattler (1); Goals: Girdler (4) | Brisbane 18
Minor premiers hosted the 8th placed Broncos, however, it was the visitors, aided by a massive breeze, that held a 10-0 lead halfway through the first half through two tries.
In the 24th minute, the Panthers struck back when a two-man cut out pass from Ryan Girdler found winger Luke Lewis and he crossed in the corner.
A converted try and penalty conversion to Brisbane further stretched their lead to 18-4.
With two minutes remaining, Penrith earnt a penalty near the uprights. From the tap re-start, Ryan Girdler passed it to replacement forward Ben Ross who not only hit up the ball but planted the ball just across the try line. Girdler’s conversion had the hosts trailing by 8 at half time.
Seven minutes into the second half, Craig Gower hoisted a high kick from 40 metres out. The Broncos winger was not able to field the kick with the ball continuing to bounce into the in goal and grounded by Lewis for his second try just before it went dead. Girdler’s sideline conversion reduced the deficit to two points.
Four minutes later, the Panthers hit the lead when Girdler intercepted a Broncos pass and ran 60 metres untouched to score beneath the uprights. He converted his won try to have Penrith lead 22-18.
Minutes later, Brisbane was denied the opportunity to at least equalise when the video referee determined no try after being bundled into touch before grounding the ball.
In the 66th minute, Scott Sattler ran into an inside pass from Luke Lewis to barge over. Girdler’s successful conversion saw the lead further extend out to 10.
The Broncos were not able to offer much in terms of a response in the final 10 minutes as the Panthers held out, with victory giving them the week off and a passage to the preliminary final in the third week.