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Panthers down Raiders 26-20 in Canberra

Penrith have delivered Canberra their third straight NRL loss with a fiery 26-20 win at Canberra Stadium.
Panthers down Raiders 26-20 in Canberra
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, May 18 AAP - Penrith have delivered Canberra their third straight NRL loss with a fiery 26-20 win at Canberra Stadium.

Tensions well and truly boiled over in the second half, both captains Peter Wallace and Terry Campese giving expletive-laden viewpoints of several scuffles.

The captains weren't the only ones displeased with the referees, a large portion of the 8,892 crowd sending them off the field with a chorus of boos.

However the Raiders will only have themselves to blame after the loss.

They were guilty of too many handling errors throughout the match, finishing the first half with a poor 61 per cent completion rate.

Following two horrific performances against Manly and the Warriors, the Raiders got off to the best possible start with a try on the second tackle of the match.

Centre Jack Wighton found space after a Josh Papalii offload, putting winger Reece Robinson over inside 30 seconds.

However their leaky defence came straight back to the fore, the Panthers replying with three straight tries to outside backs David Simmons, Josh Mansour and Matthew Moylan.

It looked as though the Raiders might be on their way to a third consecutive 50 point-plus thumping, but they dug in this time around, stopping the rot when Wighton put Robinson over for his second.

Some slick hands from Raiders fullback Anthony Milford then gifted Jarrod Croker a try, the Raiders taking a narrow 16-14 lead into the break.

The Panthers reclaimed the lead through hooker James Segeyaro - and then a large all-in scuffle broke out following Simmons' second try.

A fiery Campese complained to the referee of a headbutt after the fracas had been broken up.

Down 26-16, the Raiders had a try to Shaun Fensom called back after prop David Shillington got in a post-play the ball scuffle with Segeyaro.

Shillington took exception to a forearm to the head and Segeyaro was penalised and placed on report.

Expletives from both captains were then clearly heard on the referee's mic, causing commentators to apologise to audiences during Women in League round.

The Raiders couldn't capitalise on their next set, but managed to close the final gap to six points through an outstanding solo effort by Milford in the corner.

But the Panthers held on for the victory, notching their first back-to-back wins of the season.


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