Panthers maintain top-eight challenge

Penrith Panthers maintained their challenge for a top-eight place with a 24-16 victory over Gold Coast Titans today at Pepper Stadium.

The Panthers made one late change to their 17 announced on Tuesday, with Tim Browne starting in the front row and Reagan Campbell-Gillard dropping back to the bench.

Kane Elgey returned for the Titans on the bench, with Agnatius Paasi dropping out. John Olive also dropped out of the squad.

The teams were level 6-6 at the break and the Panthers weren’t able to gain ascendancy until the 63rd minute when skipper Matt Moylan intercepted an Ash Taylor pass and ran 40 metres to touch down before leaving the field with a hamstring strain.

The Titans were dealt an early injury blow when centre Konrad Hurrell tore a hamstring in the eleventh minute and had to leave the field.

The Titans scored first when Ash Taylor fed William Zillman, who made progress up the middle and sent Jarryd Hayne over for the opening try of the game.

The Panthers equalised shortly before the interval when Waqa Blake picked up a loose ball from Tyrone Roberts to dash 60 metres to touch down.

The Panthers added an early second-half penalty from Nathan Cleary before Blake scored his second try to give them an eight-point lead.

The Titans struck back when a Taylor grubber was touched down by Anthony Don.

But then Taylor threw an intercept pass for Moylan to score the gamebreaking try.

Cleary then sent Dallin Watene-Zelezniak over the line to consolidate the Panthers’ lead.

The Titans scored a third try by Tyrone Roberts but it was too little, too late.

Panthers: 1 Dylan Edwards, 2 Joshua Mansour, 3 Tyrone Peachey, 4 Waqa Blake, 5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Matthew Moylan (C), 7 Nathan Cleary, 8 James Tamou, 9 Peter Wallace, 16 Tim Browne, 11 Corey Harawira-Naera, 12 Isaah Yeo, 13 Moses Leota; Interchange: 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 14 Sione Katoa, 15 Leilani Latu, 17 James Fisher-Harris

Tries: Blake 2, Moylan, Watene-Zelezniak; Goals: Cleary 4

Titans: 1 Jarryd Hayne, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 William Zillman, 6 Tyrone Roberts, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (C), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Joe Greenwood, 13 Max King; Interchange: 14 Morgan Boyle, 16 Nathaniel Peteru, 17 Leivaha Pulu, 18 Kane Elgey.

Tries: Hayne, Don, Roberts; Goals: Roberts 1

Monday’s edition of League Express, available in the shops or online, will feature full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches.