Panthers hit back to end Sea Eagles season

10 September 2017 20:30:13 GMTPlus11

Penrith gained immediate revenge on Manly as they won their elimination final 22-10 at Allianz Stadium.

The Panthers had suffered a 16-point defeat to Trent Barrett's side in the final round of the season at Lottoland.

But they were too good for the Sea Eagles in a spiteful clash that continued what has become a great rivalry between the teams.

The Panthers were back to the kind of form that brought them a seven-game winning streak late in the season - a run that had started with a home win against Manly.

But they needed two tries in the final six minutes to get them through to a semi-final against the Broncos.

The scores were level at 10-10 when Tyrone Peachey broke the game open, scoring a try in strange circumstances. Bryce Cartwright's grubber out of dummy-half hit a Manly leg and then rebounded off Peachey who pounced for a four-pointer.

Nathan Cleary, who had earlier kicked two penalty goals, added the conversion to put the Panthers six points up with just four minutes left.

Cartwright then iced the win as an Akuila Uate error near his own try-line proved costly for Manly, giving the Penrith utility the chance to cross out wide.

Cleary, who produced an excellent kicking display, got the Panthers on the board early on. He nailed a penalty goal after Martin Taupau picked up the ball in an offside position.

There were plenty of errors in the game and one led to the first try on 26 minutes as Dallin Watene-Zelezniak put down a difficult pass with his side deep on the attack. That allowed Matt Wright to bring the ball within 20 metres of Manly's line and from the next play, Jake Trbojevic's chip kick found an unmarked Dylan Walker in the corner.

Cartwright replied with his first of the night eight minutes later, cashing in after Cleary's grubber rebounded to him off an upright.

Though Manly lost back-rower Curtis Sironen to a hamstring injury and then had a try by Uate ruled out, they did score the next try just after the hour mark when former Panther Lewis Brown broke through a flimsy attempted tackle.

Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans is 13.00 to win the Dally M Medal as the NRL's best player.

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