Panthers beat Canterbury, advance to NRL playoffs 2nd round

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Panthers' Isaac John in action.

Panthers' Isaac John in action. (Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/photosport.co.nz)

SYDNEY (AP) — The Penrith Panthers outclassed the Canterbury Bulldogs 28-12 on Sunday in a National Rugby League elimination final.

The win moved the Panthers into the second round against the Canberra Raiders, who lost their Saturday match 16-14 to the Cronulla Sharks, but remained in the playoffs due to the NRL's second-chance format for the top four teams.

On Saturday, captain Cameron Smith kicked a late penalty goal to clinch the Melbourne Storm's 16-10 win over the defending champion North Queensland Cowboys. The win gave the Storm a second-round bye and sent the Cowboys into a match next Friday against fellow Queensland state side Brisbane.

A 75th-minute penalty goal from James Maloney gave Cronulla its win over Canberra, advancing the Sharks straight to the semifinals.

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