Maloney strikes golden point, Bulldogs get rare win

By Ben Spratt 30 June 2019 3
Maloney strikes golden point, Bulldogs get rare win

James Maloney built on his strong State of Origin II display with a golden-point winner for Penrith Panthers in the NRL on Sunday.

Maloney had starred as New South Wales Blues won Game II to level the Origin series the previous weekend and stepped up again as he returned to club action in a 19-18 victory over New Zealand Warriors.

The Panthers looked to have been denied victory by Patrick Herbert's 79th-minute penalty in an eventful contest that saw Penrith's Liam Martin and Jarome Luai sent to the sin bin either side of half-time.

The Warriors led early on through Peta Hiku's try and, although James Tamou crossed at the other end, they moved in front again when Herbert kicked a penalty and Bunty Afoa went over either side of Martin's yellow card.

Matters went from bad to worse for Penrith after the restart, as Brent Naden fumbled a big chance, Luai went to the bin for a professional foul and David Fusitu'a stormed down the outside for a third Warriors try.

But Naden made amends with a pair of tries and the Panthers were only denied a win in normal time by Herbert's penalty, with Maloney then earning the points with a kick at the second attempt in the additional period.

In Sunday's late game, Canterbury Bulldogs clung on to an early lead against Cronulla Sharks to end a four-match losing run.

The Bulldogs flew out of the blocks and led 14-0 after 21 minutes, with tries from Will Hopoate and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, along with two conversions and a penalty via the boot of Nick Meaney.

Canterbury lost momentum from there and were pegged back as Sosaia Feki, Shaun Johnson and Josh Dugan crossed in quick succession.

However, the Sharks' failure to convert any of those tries proved costly as the struggling Bulldogs held on for a 14-12 win.

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Ben Spratt