Penrith denied a gallant Vodafone Junior Warriors some reward with a last-minute field goal giving the home side a 17-16 win in Saturday's Jersey Flegg Cup match at St Marys Leagues Club in west Sydney.
In what was a tight contest throughout, the Vodafone Junior Warriors came back from a 10-16 deficit to level up at 16-16 through a late Lotu Inisi try converted by Eiden Ackland.
But with time almost up, the Panthers arranged a field goal option which Dean Blore slotted to deny the visitors a deserved draw.
Penrith had opened the scoring in the opening minutes before the Vodafone Junior Warriors responded with a try to centre Elijah Sufia.
They went 4-10 behind at halftime before locking it up at 10-10 with a try to centre Tom Ale, converted by Ackland.
When the Panthers went six points ahead again, the Vodafone Junior Warriors came thundering back into contention with Inisi's try only to have their hearts broken by Blore's field goal.
The nature of the defeat - beaten by a last-gasp field goal - would set the tone for the Vodafone Warriors' three sides.
Later the club's Intrust Super Premiership came back to take a 16-12 lead only for the Panthers to level up and convert for an 18-16 lead late in the match before holding on for the win. And the NRL side came back from a 12-19 margin with a converted try and two Shaun Johnson field goals in the dying stages to triumph 20-19.
At St Marys Leagues Club, Sydney
Penrith Panthers 17 (Shannon Harris, Zac Ryan, Will Burns tries; Dean Blore conversion, penalty, field goal).
Vodafone Junior Warriors 16 (Elijah Sufia, Tom Ale, Lotu Inisi tries; Eiden Ackland 2 conversions).
Halftime: 10-4 Panthers.
Referee: Stephen Bourke.
Vodafone Junior Warriors | Tevita Mikaele; Kayal Iro, Elijah Sufia, Patrick Elia, Edward Kosi; Paul Turner, Eiden Ackland; Soane Hufunga (c), Sheldon Rogers, Preston Riki; Harvey Tupouniua, Brody Tamarua; Tyler Slade (c). Interchange: Dylan Tavita, Tom Ale, Wesley Veikoso, Tayhler Paora.