TODAY |

Panthers' Kikau awaits NRL finals fate after reckless tip tackle in last night's thriller

Penrith second-rower Viliame Kikau will nervously wait on the NRL charge sheet on Saturday to find out whether he could be rubbed out of their grand final qualifier in a fortnight.

The Panthers on Friday advanced to within 80 minutes of their first decider in 17 years after holding out a fast-finishing Sydney Roosters side 29-28 in their qualifying final.

However the celebrations could be soured by a possible dangerous throw charge on Kikau, who was penalised for a first-half tackle that went wrong on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Kikau went low and picked up the Roosters front-rower, tipping him past the horizontal with the help of five-eighth Jarome Luai over the top.

A grade-one dangerous throw charge attracts a 100-point base penalty, however Kikau has two prior non-similar offences this year to go with 30 carryover points.

It would mean the Fijian powerhouse would have to challenge any potential charge at the NRL judiciary in a bid to play in the preliminary final.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary argued Kikau did everything he could to avoid putting Waerea-Hargreaves in a dangerous spot, while also being disadvantaged by his frame.

"It definitely obviously went past horizontal. I thought he did enough to get him out of that dangerous position," Cleary said.

"Problem with 'Kiks' is he's just so big. And it's almost (as if) he gets discriminated against because he's so big. Everything he does look worse.

"Cross your fingers on that one, but obviously no one was hurt. I do think he arrested (him) from getting away from being in a dangerous position."

Waerea-Hargreaves himself was put on report for a high tackle on Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards but is likely to only be facing a fine.

The Panthers will enjoy a week off and await their opponents between the winner of the South Sydney-Newcastle elimination final and loser of the Melbourne- Parramatta qualifying final.

Cleary said his young team, who reeled off their 16th straight victory, would only gain more confidence out of delivering on the big stage.

"The question was always going to be about our young team and how we were going to handle the semi-finals and I think the start and the end showed that," he said.

"We didn't quite get it right but in between that, I thought were some really good things.

"Definitely some things to work on out of that game. I felt our defence wasn't as good as the standard we set during the year, but having said that, we were playing against the premiers."