The Newtown Jets have fallen short despite a spirited late comeback, going down by 18-16 to the Penrith Panthers in their round six Canterbury Cup match.
The Panthers took a 12-0 lead to half time, pushed their advantage out to 18-4 with just 15 minutes of the match remaining, before the Jets mounted their charge, giving themselves a chance of an unlikely victory in the dying moments.
Unfortunately on a sunny Easter Sunday at Henson Park time ran out on the Newtown comeback, with the Jets resigned to their fifth defeat in six matches so far this season.
The first half went the way of the Panthers who in controlling the ball and field position better than their opponents would spend plenty of time camped on the Jets line.
Two tries sent them to half time up by 12, before a Jets try early in the second half, scored by Isaac Lumelume following a well-weighted Kyle Flanagan kick, brought them back within eight points. The usually reliable Flanagan was wide with his attempt at conversion but the Jets were encouraged in posting their first points.
Almost from that moment however the second period followed a similar pattern to the first, the Panthers capitalising on Newtown errors and a third converted try pushed their lead out once more.
With around eight minutes on the clock the Jets found a second wind, young halfback Braydon Trindall slicing through then dashing 20-metres to touchdown and when Flanagan added the extras it was 18-10 and the Jets had given themselves an outside chance.
The Panthers would hold firm, at least until Ronaldo Mulitalo scored on the end of a smart backline play but the clock would beat the Newtown side, the siren sounding before play was able to restarted.
Now with only two competition points to show for their efforts over the opening six rounds, the loss has left the Jets desperate for a win in their next match, which will be against the Western Suburbs Magpies next Sunday at Lidcombe Oval.
Kick-off will be at 1.10pm, with the game to be televised live on Channel 9.
Ronaldo Mulitalo, Braydon Trindall, Isaac Lumelume tries, Kyle Flanagan 2 goals
Pic - Braydon Trindall scores - Michael McGee Photography