Saturday 11th March at Telstra Stadium
Penrith 24: Tries: Cross (1), Gower (1), Hookey (1), Youngquest (1); Goals: Campbell (4) | Bulldogs 22
The Bulldogs opened the scoring with an unconverted try inside the opening five minutes however on the ten minute mark a try to winger Nick Youngquest which was converted by Preston Campbell gave the Panthers a 6-4 lead. A penalty conversion pushed the visitor’s lead to four.
The home team would regain the lead but in the shadows of half time a converted Craig Gower try would give Penrith a 14-10 lead at the break.
A try to club debutant Lee Hookey in the 58th minute stretched the advantage to eight points but once again the Bulldogs struck back and with 13 minutes remaining the Panthers lead had been cut to two.
When Gower laid on a try for forward Matthew Cross it gave the Panthers yet again more breathing space with an eight-point buffer and a converted try to the Bulldogs on full time was nothing but a consolation as Penrith would record an opening round victory for the first time since 2000.