Snapshot of Roosters v Penrith
SNAPSHOT OF THE NRL SECOND QUALIFYING FINAL
Result: Penrith 19 bt Sydney Roosters 18 at Allianz Stadium.
Key moment: Mitchell Pearce looked as though he’d sealed the match-winner when he crossed for the Roosters in the 73rd minute, but there was one man on the field who hadn’t given up. Penrith winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, described as the best Penrith junior since Brad Fittler, produced a freakish play to catapult the Panthers to within one game of the grand final. A Jamie Soward grubber was being shadowed into touch by Anthony Minichiello, but then Watene-Zelezniak came from the clouds to leap from outside the field of play and flick the ball back for Dean Whare to score. Soward converted from out wide and the Panthers were all square going into the thrilling finish. Then it was Soward with the ice-cold field goal with seven seconds on the clock.
Key quote: “That was a massive play by Dallin at the end, not to give up. That’s part of the culture. We play for 80 minutes. It doesn’t matter what the score is. I slotted it over at the end, usually Moylan is the super man. But it’s nice to get one tonight.” JAMIE SOWARD on the golden finish by the Panthers.
Injuries: Roosters: James Maloney (ankle), Michael Jennings (concussion), Panthers: Brent Kite (concussion).
Judiciary: Roosters: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (swinging arm).
What’s next: The defending premiers must now fight for survival in an elimination final against North Queensland next week. Giant killers Penrith get a week off and are into their first preliminary final since 2004.