Saturday 14th March at Panthers Stadium
Penrith 20: Tries: Crichton (1), Kikau (1), Naden (1); Goals: Cleary (4) | Sydney Roosters 14
The Roosters opened the scoring with a converted try inside the opening five minutes of the contest, and at the halfway mark further extended their lead to 12-0.
Penrith finally got on the scoreboard after 26 minutes when Jarome Luai kicked on the third tackle, and threaded a grubber through to the try line, with a sprinting Brent Naden winning the race for the ball.
The Panthers were able to hold out the Roosters for the remainder of the half and trailed 12-6 at the break.
A penalty conversion to Nathan Cleary just under 8 minutes after the resumption reduced it to 12-8 but was soon countered by a Roosters penalty which restored their lead to 6.
With 17 minutes remaining, the Josh Mansour busted the line on the left flank and with the Roosters cover defence emerging he kicked the ball back on his inside, and Stephen Crichton who had just seconds earlier come on as a replacement got a perfect bounce only metres out and crossed almost untouched and adjacent to the left upright, with Cleary’s extras tying it up at 14-all.
With only 10 minutes remaining, the Panthers hit the lead for the first time when Cleary offloaded the ball at close range to a rampaging Viliame Kikau who could not be stopped at close range.
In a tense final few minutes the Panthers were able to retain the lead and at full time had made a statement by knocking off the defending premiers in the opening round.