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Blacktown Workers fight hard in loss to Panthers

A spirited Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles suffered a 26-20 loss to the undefeated Penrith Panthers in round five of The Knock On Effect NSW Cup at 4 Pines Park today.

The Panthers showed why they’re the frontrunners and capitalised on a no-try call for the Sea Eagles moments earlier as prop Jordan Grant crashed over for an early 6-0 lead.

Blacktown weren’t going to sit back and let the match slip as they scored two quick tries in six minutes to put Penrith on the backfoot. 

Winger Watson Heleta crossed in the corner in the seventh minute before second-rower Brad Parker dived over under the posts six minutes later off the back of an impressive line break from centre Clayton Faulalo as the home side found themselves with a 12-6 lead. 

Winger Watson Heleta is having a fine season for Blacktown Workers
Winger Watson Heleta is having a fine season for Blacktown Workers ©NRL Photos

Penrith made the most of their possession and hit back in the 23rd minute with a try through second-rower Mavrik Geyer for a 12-10 scoreline. 

The Panthers regained the lead in the 31st minute thanks to a try from David Fale. The centre won a contested kick deep in Blacktown’s territory and dived over next to the posts to take the score to 16-12. 

Prop Aitasi James was sent to the sin-bin five minutes before halftime and the Sea Eagles immediately suffered due to the numbers disadvantage. Penrith scored their fourth try under the posts through forward Ativalu Lisati for a 22-12 lead. 

A late penalty to Blacktown gifted halfback Brandon Wakeham a shot at goal which was successfully converted, cutting the deficit to 22-14 at the break. 

The Sea Eagles struck in the 52nd minute off a phenomenal flick pass, with Faulalo scoring next to the posts for a well-deserved try to take the score to 22-20. 

Penrith showed their class and quick ability to shift the ball with a try for winger Paul Alamoti in the corner as they pushed their lead out to six points with 13 minutes remaining. 

Staring down the barrel of defeat, Blacktown needed a quick reply if they had any hopes of tying up the match. Utility Jamie Humphreys stepped up with a 40/20 kick to win the ball back at the other end of the field but unfortunately it wasn’t enough, with the ball being dropped moments later to turn over possession. 

A penalty in front of Penrith’s line handed the Sea Eagles one last chance. Hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong tried to burrow underneath the defence before a hail mary pass to the right edge was intercepted, confirming the defeat for the home side. 

The Sea Eagles take on the New Zealand Warriors in round six of the NSW Cup on Saturday April 13,  at 12.40pm at Go Media Stadium. 

Panthers 26 (Tries: Grant 4’, Geyer 22’, Fale 31’, Lisati 36’, Alamoti 66’. Goals: ALamoti 3/5) def. Sea Eagles 20 (Tries: Heleta 7’, Parker 13’, Faulalo 52’. Goals: Wakeham 4/4) 

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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