NRL 2019: Nathan Cleary sinks Tigers with clutch field goal

Panthers players celebrate their win.
Panthers players celebrate their win. Photo credit: AAP

Penrith star Nathan Cleary has nailed a 40-metre golden point field goal to claim a dramatic 9-8 NRL victory over the Wests Tigers.   

The Panthers were trailing by six points with one minute to go on Friday when Dylan Edwards scored to set up a pressure kick for Cleary after the siren.   

And the son of Penrith coach Ivan nailed the sideline conversion, before also piloting the game-winner through the sticks to send the bulk of the 14,002-strong crowd at Panthers Stadium into raptures.   

Cleary's field goal came after Tigers halfback Luke Brooks missed two one-point attempts either side of fulltime.   

Tigers five-eighth Josh Reynolds also missed a field goal late in the match.

Initially, it appeared the wheels had fallen off the bus at Penrith as the Tigers looked to have extended the Panthers' try-scoring drought to over two matches.   

Edwards' try, which came after being shunted to the wing mid-game following another error-riddled performance at fullback, ended the drought at 195 minutes.   

It was a heart-stopping ending to a match that the Tigers had in their grasp, they were on the brink of claiming revenge over the coach who walked out on them last season.   

Reynolds set up the lead by setting up two tries either side of halftime in his season debut.   

It was a classy display from the former NSW Origin playmaker, who appeared to have showed up the incumbent Blues pairing of Cleary and James Maloney.   

Their ugly start prompted former NSW champion Peter Sterling to concede he couldn't pick the Maloney-Cleary combination for Origin on recent evidence.   

But it wasn't all good news for Ivan Cleary, with second-rower Frank Winterstein suffering a knee injury early in the clash.   

Co-captain Isaah Yeo was also placed on report for a crusher tackle.

AAP