In a game that produced 8 tries, four to each team, it was a missed kick from winger Michael Gordon, the games leading goalkickerÂ that was the difference in the game.
There’s no denying however that the Canberra Raiders were the better side, and they were denied twice by forward passes, as well as a controversial call when Terry Campese’s run to the line was disallowed for obstruction.
The win from the seventh placed Raiders keeps them alive, with the fifth placed Warriors knocked out of the finals race.
The win was also the Raiders first finals win since 2000 which ironically, was also a win over the Panthers.
Leading 24-12, the Raiders had a chance to put the nail in the coffin in the 57th minute, but video referee Russell Smith had other ideas and disallowed the try.
Smith ruled that PenrithÂ defender Nathan SmithÂ had been impeded by a decoy runner in the lead-up to Campese’s try.
Despite their loss, the Panthers Sandor Earl produced perhaps one of the best tries of the year with an acrobatic display after planting the ball in mid-air to get the Panthers within 2 points.
Whilst Luke Lewis was cleared to play before the game, both Frank Pritchard and Trent Waterhouse went off with leg and pectoral muscle injuries respectively. Waterhouse is suspected to be out for the season after tearing the muscle.
Raiders coach David Furner wasn’t a happy camper after Campese’s disallowed try.
“I’m just glad that it didn’t come down to that,” he said.
“I’m sorry, there needs to be a very big review on those. That could have cost us the game.
“If that’s an obstruction, that’s rubbish.”