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Match Report - Round 15 2002

Eagles win away
23/6/2002           By www.news.com.au

THE Northern Eagles survived a second half burst from Penrith to register their first away win of the National Rugby League season with a 28-24 victory at Penrith Stadium.

The Panthers trailed 28-8 seven minutes into the second half before piling on three tries to narrow the gap to four points with 10 minutes remaining.

But some desperate defence from the Eagles and some silly mistakes from Penrith denied the home side a share of the spoils.

The Eagles took control of the match with a seven minute blitz to open the second half, adding a penalty goal through Luke Williamson before centre Ben MacDougall scored a superb 60 metre solo try to make the visitor's lead 28-8.

The Panthers hit back when winger Chris Hicks jumped over John Hopoate to score, reducing the Eagles' lead to 16 points.

Then captain Craig Gower kicked into gear, breaking the Eagles' defence to put the visitors on the attack.

After Eagles winger John Hopoate stopped a certain try, five-eighth Scott Sattler went over with Gary Winter draped around his legs to score under the posts, Gower kicking the conversion to make the score 28-18.

The Panthers then set up a heart-stopping finish when Hicks crossed for his second try off a suspect pass from centre Geoff Bell and then converted his own try to narrow the lead to four points with ten minutes remaining.

NORTHERN EAGLES 28
(R Miles 2 L Dorn M Kaufusi B MacDougall tries; L Williamson 4 goals)

PENRITH PANTHERS 24
(C Hicks 2 L Lewis G Bell S Sattler tries, C Hicks C Gower goals)

Penrith Stadium 23 June 2002.

Crowd: 9579.

Referee: Tim Mander

Eagles Team:

Brendon Reeves,
Robert Miles
Albert Torrens,
Ben MacDougall
John Hopoate,
Luke Williamson
Luke Dorn,
Danny Lima
Jamie Goddard,
Jason King,
Mark Shipway,
Nik Kosef
Wade Forrester.

Replacements:
Nathan Long
Mal Kaufusi,
Chad Randall,
Gary Winter.