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A gutsy New Zealand Warriors have held out the second placed Penrith Panthers 12-6 at CUA Stadium with some gutsy defence. The Warriors held the lead for the entire second half, keeping out countless Penrith raids and some crucial refereeing decisions. The heroic Warriors were lead by lock-forward Michael Luck who made countless tackles, and fullback Jerome Ropati who seemed invincible in his performance.
The Warriors opened the scoring early in the match after finding the big Panthers forwards offside. James Maloney booted an easy goal to give his side a 2-0 advantage. From this, both sides played amazing running football, enthralling the 9,983 strong crowd at Penrith. It was the away side who came up with the first try of the afternoon however, Lewis Brown breaking through the entire line before sending James Maloney over the line for the opening try. The tryscorer laid on an extra two points to give the Warriors an 8-0 advantage.
It didn't end there, with Manu Vatuvei taking a bomb without much attention from Panthers defenders to score the Warriors second try, and give them a 12-0 advantage. It seemed this would be the half-time scoreline before some quick passing set Penrith's Lachlan Coote over the line right before the half-time siren. The conversion made it 12-6, setting up an exciting second half.
However, the scoreline never changed. The Warriors were forced to defend an incredible amount of raids on the line. Poor errors, loss of possession and some crucial refereeing errors didn't help, but the line never broke as the Warriors held firm for one of the most incredible and heroic victories in the history of the club.
The victory over the second placed Panthers away from home will let fans surely know that the New Zealand Warriors will be a force to be reckoned with in 2010, while the Panthers will be disappointed to come away from the match without any competition points after their heroic victory over competition leaders St George Illawarra on Monday night.
Penrith Panthers 6 were defeated by New Zealand Warriors 12
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 18 - Sunday July 11, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: CUA Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Chris James
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Grant Atkins and Paul Holland
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 6 New Zealand Warriors 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Jerome Ropati
2 Points - Michael Luck
1 Point - Luke Lewis
PENRITH PANTHERS (6)
Tries: Lachlan Coote
Conversions: Michael Gordon (1/1)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (12)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney
Conversions: James Maloney (1/2)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to CUA Stadium for this highly anticipated clash between the Panthers and the Warriors. Both teams coming off impressive victories last week looking to continue their good form.
Toyota Cup - The Warriors managed to come back from 6-4 down at half-time to defeat the Penrith Panthers 38-10. This result keeps the Warriors inside the Top Four, alongside North Queensland, South Sydney and Sydney.
Penrith Panthers - Frank Pritchard has been ruled out of the match. Sam McKendry will start at prop while Gavin Cooper will start in Pritchard's now vacant back row space. Matthew Bell moves to the bench alongside Daine Laurie, who comes into the side for the injured Pritchard.
New Zealand Warriors - Lance Hohaia is out of the match. Lewis Brown, who originally was to start in the back row has been moved to the centres with Sione Lousi moving to the vacant position from the bench. Jerome Ropati moves from the centres to fullback. Ukuma Ta'ai has been added to the bench.
5 min: A strong start from both sides in the first half.
7 min: Luke Lewis finds himself in a tryscoring position, but is put into touch. A promising run.
8 min: Penrith concede a penalty and it looks like James Maloney will be preparing to open the scoring with the boot.
9 min: PENALTY GOAL
It's over and the Warriors have opened the scoring.
New Zealand Warriors 2-0
13 min: Now Joel Moon goes close to scoring, but a knock on from Bill Tupou is ruled.
15 min: TRY
The Warriors have continued the scoring here. Lewis Brown breaks straight through the line before sending it to James Maloney for the opening try of the match.
New Zealand Warriors 8-0
18 min: The Warriors are running the ball very well, reminds a bit of their recent form. Particularly against Parramatta.
22 min: TRY
Signs continue to go wrong for Penrith as big Manu Vatuvei scores the Warriors second try. Vatuvei took a bomb without much trouble (or attention) from the defenders.
New Zealand Warriors 12-0
28 min: Penrith nearly open their scoring, but Lachlan Coote has spilled the ball over the line. It's not been a good day.
33 min: Lachlan Coote attempts to shake off an injury by the looks of it. It's been a horrid day for him so far.
36 min: Warriors starting to give away consecutive penalties, but they still manage to hold on for now. Penrith still without a point this match.
36 min: The Panthers now leading the penalty count 5-2.
38 min: TRY
Lachlan Coote redeems himself a bit with the Panthers opening try. The try was set up by a rampant Michael Jennings. Exactly what they needed before the half-time break.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
40 min: That's the break, Warriors 12 lead Panthers 6.
40 min: Second half underway here.
45 min: Slow start in the second half. The score isn't going to change anytime soon.
48 min: I should've shut up. Penrith starting to attack well here.
52 min: The excitement is building, either side can win this.
52 min: The excitement is building, either side can win this.
58 min: Amazingly, Penrith still unable to score despite a decent amount of attack.
60 min: Warriors fans must be happy Jerome Ropati is playing fullback instead of initially being named in the centres. He's done everything right so far.
70 min: A string of harsh calls going against the Warriors. It would be a shame if this match was decided by the referee.
75 min: Still five minutes to go, Warriors lead 12-6. The time is well and truly against Penrith. Some of these calls however are well and truly against the Warriors.
77 min: Penrith are literally throwing everything at the Warriors here, this is some of the most determined defence I've ever seen.
77 min: CROWD - 9,983 here today at CUA Stadium in Penrith.
78 min: Warriors with an error, Penrith with another shot.
80 min: With an 11-3 penalty count against them and with less than 45% of the possession, the Warriors should come away with the points today.
80 min: They've done it. Full-time, the Warriors win 12-6.