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Penrith's play-offs hopes in doubt after 34-14 defeat to Canterbury at Olympic stadium

The Panthers are two points outside the top eight following the Warriors' win over the Raiders earlier on Saturday, and they did themselves no favours when they were kept scoreless in the second half.

They led 14-12 at the break but the Bulldogs ran over the top of their opponents in the second term, with tries to Tim Lafai, Mitch Brown, Krisnan Inu and Trent Hodkinson confirming a spot in the finals.

The Bulldogs' Josh Morris says his side needed to make up for a poor display in the opening term.

"We had to keep completing and that first half was diabolical and they were well ahead," he told Grandstand."We came in at half-time and re-grouped and put in a better second [half] performance."The Bulldogs looked disjointed and well off the pace in an error-strewn opening period and the Panthers took full advantage.

PHOTO: On song ... James Graham scores for the Bulldogs against the Panthers (Getty Images: Mark Nolan)
They produced well-deserved tries from Issac John and Josh Mansour, in addition to a Luke Walsh penalty which more than cancelled out James Graham's early four-pointer for the Bulldogs.

But with less than a minute of the opening stanza remaining, Tony Williams created a chance out of nothing on the halfway line when he used his size to barge past five Panthers tackles then offloaded to Brown.Brown lobbed a hopeful kick forward and Lafai flopped over the line to give the hosts a huge lift, going in just 14-12 down despite being on the back foot for most of the half.

A stern Des Hasler team talk saw a much better display from his charges after the re-start, as Penrith struggled to match their earlier intensity.

Lafai added his second after hauling in a cut-out pass from Morris in the 52nd minute with Hodkinson adding the extras before Brown then took his tally to 12 for the season just shy of the hour mark.

The former Cronulla and Wests Tigers wideman, whose previous best for a campaign was four, reacted brilliantly to get down Josh Reynolds' floated pass with one hand.

Eight minutes from time, Krisnan Inu iced the victory from close range before Hodkinson rumbled over from 20 metres just before the siren and then kicked his fourth goal to wrap up a comfortable victory.

Canterbury: 34 (T Lafai 2, J Graham, M Brown, K Inu, T Hodkinson tries; T Hodkinson 4/5 cons)

Penrith: 14 (I John, J Mansour tries; Luke Walsh 2/2 cons, 1/1 pen)

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