Double heartache for Panthers as grand final wins elude juniors

THE Penrith Panthers stumbled at the final hurdle, losing the Harold Matthews and S.G. Ball grand finals at Leichhardt Oval at the weekend.

It was heartbreak for the S.G. Ball team, who have now lost three straight junior representative deciders.

They looked set to break the hoodoo leading the Sydney Roosters 20-0 after only 11 minutes.

But the Tricolours rallied twice to score three tries in nine minutes and then two tries in the last five minutes to send the game into extra time.

A try in golden point time gave the Roosters the under-18s title 34-30.

It was a one-sided affair in the Harold Matthews grand final, with Newcastle running out winners 34-4. The minor premiers led 24-0 at half-time and despite the young Panthers best efforts they went on to win their first under-16s title since 2000.

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