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Panthers beat Tigers in NRL trial thriller
22:52 AEST Fri Feb 8 2013

Promising Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco survived his first hitout since the knee reconstruction which ruined his rookie campaign but it was Penrith who won an NRL trial thriller 34-32 in Bathurst on Friday night.

With star pivot Lachlan Coote a late inclusion for the Panthers, halfback Blake Austin kicked the match-winning conversion after the siren from close range to end an entertaining contest.

Both sides featured a smattering of NRL regulars, but most eyes were on Tedesco, whose top-grade debut in 2012 lasted just a matter of minutes before he ruptured the ACL in the opening round.

He played the first 40 minutes at Carrington Park on Friday night before being rested.

Coote was a surprise starter for the Panthers, who also had Geoff Daniela, Jeremy Latimore, Dayne Weston and Clint Newton in the line-up.

Weston and Newton were both powerful, but the performance of former South Sydney flyer James Roberts in the centres will no doubt give hope to Penrith fans looking to life after the departure of Michael Jennings.

Roberts was dangerous throughout, setting up Coote for one try with some blinding speed before scoring what proved to be the match-winner in the final minute after the Panthers had regathered a short kick-off.


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