Soward boot the difference as Panthers hold off lowly Roosters


Jamie Soward's boot proved the difference as Penrith Panthers got back to winning ways with the 20-16 defeat of Sydney Roosters, whose miserable start to the new NRL season continued on Monday.

The Roosters recorded their first win with victory over South Sydney Rabbitohs last time out, however, the league's bottom club were brought back down to earth as the Panthers - who lost to North Queensland Cowboys nine days ago - took home maximum points for the third time this campaign.

Each side scored three tries but, while Roosters half-back Jackson Hastings only converted two scores, Soward was perfect in adding the extras and also knocked over a penalty, his performance proving pivotal in a close encounter at Allianz Stadium.

Penrith centre Dallin Watene Zelezniak went over in the corner to open the scoring in the seventh minute, with Soward converting and then adding a penalty to make it 8-0.

Latrell Mitchell powered over to reduce the arrears with the first of two tries for the full-back before Penrith's Te Maire Martin and Roosters centre Blake Ferguson traded scores late in the first half.

Waqa Blake's 46th-minute converted try increased the Panthers' 14-10 half-time lead by a further six points, but the hosts were given hope on the hour mark when Mitchell crossed underneath the posts after Sydney had done well to keep the ball alive.

Sydney defended well to keep the gap at four points as Penrith looked to put the game to bed, but never threatened to complete the comeback and remain at the foot of the table with just two points from seven games.