NRL 2021 LIVE updates: Panthers, Roosters all square after frantic start
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As Phil Gould just said in Nine’s call, that’s what happens when you’re forced to defend with 12 men against the best team in the competition.
The Panthers worked the ball to the left edge, created an overlap and Matt Burton hit Brian To’o on the chest.
The NSW Origin star did the rest.
We’re all locked up in Penrith. It’s 12-all after 25 minutes.
Siosiua Taukeiaho will spend the next 10 minutes on the sideline.
He hit Nathan Cleary high as he slipped when taking the ball into the defensive line. Referee Ashley Klein had little choice.
But he did say there were no mitigating circumstances. That’s a bit rich.
The Panthers have found their groove now.
Their pack is on the front foot and Nathan Cleary just forced a repeat set with a perfect grubber on last tackle.
This is shaping up as a superb contest between two premiership heavyweights.
Joey Manu knocked the ball on in the Roosters’ in goal from the restart following Adam Keighran’s try and the Panthers have made the visitors pay.
An early Nathan Cleary kick found space in behind the Roosters’ line and Stephen Crichton won the race to the loose ball.
That will settle Penrith’s nerves.
It’s 12-6 after 17 minutes.
What a start this has been for the Roosters.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves charged over the gain line for the Roosters but was stopped one metre out from the Panthers’ line.
He played the ball quickly and Keighran ducked over from close range. That was far too easy for the visitors.
Penrith have only had 31 per cent possession through 14 minutes and appear stunned by this start from the Roosters.
They lead 12-0 after 15 minutes.
So far, the wet track seems to suit the Roosters.
Their pack has dominated the opening exchanges and the tri-colours have another attacking set deep inside Penrith’s half.
The wet weather is wreaking havoc early on in Penrith.
Joseph Suaalii soared through the air to contest a cross-field kick and while the superstar teen couldn’t control the ball, the crumbs fell into the arms of Fletcher Baker.
He dived over and gave Trent Robinson’s men a dream start.
Roosters 6-0 Panthers after six minutes
It’s been raining in Penrith for the last 45 minutes, according to Phil Gould in the Nine commentary box.
The result was an early error from Dylan Edwards deep inside the Panthers’ half, gifting the visitors a rare chance to score first against the premiership favourites.
There’s no time to catch your breath on Friday nights.
It’s time for the main event. Penrith host the Roosters in a blockbuster at Bluebet Stadium.
A Valentine Holmes attempted two point field goal fell short and the Sharks breathed a sigh of relief.
They have escaped Queensland Country Bank Stadium with two points are are now in the top eight.
After a relatively slow first 70 minutes, that game came to life late.
There will be plenty of talk about Reece Robson’s sin bin but the Sharks have no one but themselves to blame for the loss.