It was a big clash for both the Penrith Panthers and the Brisbane Broncos, especially with the last couple of spots in the top eight still to be decided.
In what a closely fought battle from the get-go, it was only the trickery, skill and crafty play of Panthers hooker James Segeyaro that got Penrith over the line, with the live-wire hooker scoring three tries in his side’s win.
With a combination of attacking flair and defensive resiliency when it matter, it was the Panthers who fought hard and valiantly for the win at Centrebet Stadium, eventually taking it out 28-12 over the Broncos.
Whilst the win does keep their finals hopes alive, the road does not get any easier for Penrith, with tough away trips against Manly and the Bulldogs to come in the final two rounds.
Although the win currently moves them into ninth place, for the Pokies Broncos, it could be a whole different story.
If some results go against them, they could drop as low as thirteenth place on the ladder, in what was their first loss since July 12.
To make matters worse, Brisbane prop Lama Tasi was placed on report and coach Anthony Griffin concedes that making the finals is now a tall order for his team.
“We were courageous at times but we just weren’t good enough when it mattered, defensively.
“Those two (dummy-half) tries (from Segeyaro) were the difference.”
Although the prospect of making the finals remains, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary is not about to get carried away.
“We’re still alive. It’s good,” he said.
“If we play like we did tonight, then we’ll certainly be competitive (against Canterbury on Saturday week).
“If you’re competitive, you never know what can happen.”
3. James Segeyaro
2. James Gillett
1. Tim Grant