An inspired performance by Parramatta Eels regular Cameron King has seen Wentworthville to a 16-14 win over Penrith – the second time in 2018 the Magpies have beaten the Panthers.
Match: Magpies v Panthers
Round 7 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Joined by fellow Eels Josh Hoffman and Kane Evans, King took a hold of the contest, controlling the match's tempo from all-but the first siren until the last.
Sharing his time between his familiar hooking role and that of playing in the halves, the wily No.9 burrowed his way over the Panthers' goal-line to open the scoring (7th), before Nathan Davis extended the side's lead to six.
A run of possession had the Magpies deep on the attack, and they continued to press the premiers' line – but it held firm.
In a match which went to-and-fro, the Panthers eventually found their first points when Adam Keighran crossed (34th) for a try. The centre's ensuing shot on goal was waved away, as the score remained at 6-4.
And so it would until the sound of the half-time siren.
Bradley Deitz assumed the hooking duties in the second period, shifting King into the first-receiver role, and the move only seemed to help the Wentworthville cause.
Penrith's Sam Smith raced his way in for a try (53rd) to finish a well-worked back-line shift, sending the visitors to an 8-6 front. Keighran again failed to add the extras with his conversion attempt.
Though not shaken having surrendered the lead, again the Magpies went to the front soon after.
A pair of tries to Davis (58th) and Deitz (62nd) had Wentworthville out to a 16-8 lead, and looking in complete control of the clash.
But having starred throughout the competition's opening seven weeks, Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai injected himself into the contest with a try in the 70th minute. Keighran raised the touch judges' flags to have Penrith back within two, as the scoreboard read 16-14.
Wentworthville denied a desperate fast-finishing Panthers outfit from a last-minute victory to earn them their third win of the season.
WENTWORTHVILLE 16 (C King N Davis B Deitz tries; Davis 2 goals) bt PENRITH 14 (A Keighran S Smith J Luai tries; Keighran goal)