Panthers claw away from wooden spoon

The Penrith Panthers have taken a step away from the bottom of the ladder with a 18-16 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Mt. Smart Stadium.

After five straight loses for the Warriors their 2012 finals hopes were dashed in recent weeks. Today the Warriors found their feet and posted the first two tries of the match, however it was not enough as they posted their six straight lose.

Ben Henry was shown the green lights as the video referee awarded his four-pointer as he cleaned up a grubber kick from James Maloney. Maloney missed the conversion, Warriors 4-0 after 5 minutes.

In a show of speed, Shaun Johnson took an intercept ball from the Panthers and streaked down field for an 85-metre solo try. The Panthers unable to chase him down as he claimed the Warriors second, 10-0 after 24 minutes.

In the final stages of the first half, the Panthers finally crossed the whitewash for their first points. Lachlan Coote's shift to five-eighth has been a good move for the Panthers as his ball playing skill set up Kevin Kingston. The Panthers hit back to bring up the 10-6 score at half time.

Similarly to the first half, Ben Henry posted first points of the second half with a dive over effort close to the line. Although he copped a pair of knees from the Panthers defence, no further action was taken. Five minutes into the second half, Warriors ahead 16-6.

Man of the match Lachlan Coote found himself on the try-scorers list as he spun out of the tackle of his opposition number six to post his own four-pointer. Walsh closed the gap again to four points with the conversion, Warriors 16-12.

With four minutes on the clock, Travis Robinson delivered the final try of the match as he managed to beat two Warriors defenders to the goal line. Luke Walsh's kick an easy one as Robinson ran around under the sticks. The Panthers kicked ahead with the conversion to seal their seventh win of the 2012 season, 18-16.

There is now just two games remaining for both sides as the Warriors head across the Tasman to face the Dragons at WIN Stadium in Wollongong. While the Panthers do battle at Centrebet Stadium with the Gold Coast Titans.

Match Details
New Zealand Warriors 16 were defeated by Penrith Panthers 18
National Rugby League - Round 24 - Sunday August 19, 2012 12:00pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Dave Munro
Video Referee: Pat Reynolds
Touch Judges: Henry Perenara and Jay Farlow
Crowd: TBC
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 10 Penrith Panthers 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Lachlan Coote (1 Try)
2 Points - Kevin Kingston (1 Try)
1 Point - James Maloney (2 Conversions)

New Zealand Warriors (16)
Tries: Shaun Johnson, Ben Henry (2)
Conversions: James Maloney (2/3)

Penrith Panthers (18)
Tries: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Kingston, Travis Robinson
Conversions: Luke Walsh (3/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Morning and welcome to League Unlimited's coverage of NRL Sunday as we bring you the first of three games. Up first from across the ditch is the Warriors hosting the Penrith Panthers. Both teams are out of the finals race, so with nothing to play for except avoiding the wooden spoon we can expect a lot of ball movement and points scored.

In team changes firstly for the Warriors. Konrad Hurrell comes out of the side as he played NSW Cup yesterday. In his places comes Ben Henry who shifts out of the second row. Sebastine Ikahihifo moves to lock with Elijah Taylor moving into the second row. Russell Packer starts at prop forward with Sione Lousi to be injected off the bench. Pita Godinet is added to the bench in 18.

As for the Panthers, Brad Tighe is out with illness which gives Toyota Cup young gun Tom Eisenhuth a chance in the starting side. The only other change is on the bench with Danny Galea ruled out which gives Mitch Achurch his bench spot.
Moments away from kick off at Mt. Smart Stadium. Both sides going through their final preparations in the sheds
1 min: Referee Gavin Badger blows time on and we are underway in NRL Sunday at Mt. Smart Stadium with the Warriors kicking off.
2 min: Controlled sets from both sides so far, end to end of the park thus far.
5 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Warriors, Ben Henry is claiming points after grounding the James Maloney kick
5 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Ben Henry. Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.

Ben Henry is awarded the four-pointer by the video referee after Lachlan Coote failed to ground the James Maloney kick. Henry reaching out to clean up the mess and claim points.
New Zealand Warriors 4-0
10 min: Tom Eisenhuth fails to the pass and drops the ball. Warriors come up with the ball through a scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
12 min: Forward pass from Lewis Brown to Manu Vatuvei on the wing. Almost coming up with a good blind side play but the pass floated forward. Panthers with a scrum feed on the Warriors 40 metre line. Chance for them to post their first points
14 min: KNOCK ON! Michael Gordon on the end of a nice set play from the Panthers was unable to take the ball cleanly and knocked on. Panthers come up with the ball deep in their own half.
16 min: Penalty to the Warriors for jumping off the mark too quick and getting caught inside the 10 metre line. Warriors march up to halfway to start their set.
17 min: KNOCK ON! Michael Luck comes up with another mistake for the Warriors. The completion rates are slipping down for both sides in the early of part of the match. Panthers with possession on the change over on their 10 metre line.
19 min: The Panthers almost coming up with points in the set twice with Clint Newton almost crossing the line. On the second occasion Dave Simmons put a kick in short side but unable to chase as he was forced into touch.
24 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Shaun Johnson. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Shaun Johnson took an intercept pass as the Panthers tried to spread it across the field. Johnson put the foot down and raced away downfield 85 metres to score the Warriors second try. James Maloney easily converts from in front to make it a 10 point game
New Zealand Warriors 10-0
27 min: Not good news for the Warriors. Nathan Friend has been taken up the tunnel with right shoulder injury after a massive tackle.
33 min: Penalty to the Panthers and they march up field to attack the Warriors defence 20 metres from the goal line.
34 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Travis Robinson leapt up for the ball off the kick but knocked it forward. Warriors survive without conceding points, they come up with the ball through a scrum feed on the 10 metre line.
37 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Kevin Kingston. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.

The Panthers get the ball moving and it finds the arms of Lachlan Coote.He steps out of a tackle and runs away to link up with Kevin Kingston who scores the Panthers first points. Luke Walsh adds the extras from in front to make it a 4 point gap heading into half time
New Zealand Warriors 10-6
40 min: We had a bit of jungle ball in the final moments of the first half as the Warriors attempted to keep the ball alive as the siren sounded. However Lewis Brown unable to take the offload from Johnson, so at HALF TIME we have the Warriors in front 10-6 over the Panthers.
41 min: The second half is UNDERWAY as the siren sounds around Mt. Smart Stadium with the Warriors ahead 10-6 over the Panthers. The Panthers kick off to give the Warriors first use of the ball.
41 min: Penalty to the Warriors for a blocking run from the Panthers. Warriors attacking from the 10 metre line which will give them a chance. to post their third try of the match.
42 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
David Simmons leapt out of the defensive line to knock down the Warriors pass. So, the Warriors have another shot at the Panthers line with a scrum feed on the 10 metre line.
44 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Warriors, Ben Henry getting his second but copped some knees
45 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Ben Henry. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Ben Henry is awarded his four-pointer has he slipped through the defence to dive in for his second try. He copped some knees in the ribs but not awarded a possible 8 point try. James Maloney just converted the try.
New Zealand Warriors 16-6
48 min: Penalty to the Panthers for Ben Henry having hands on the ball in the ruck. They march up field away from their 20 metre line
52 min: Carlos Tuimavave gives up possession as he throws a forward pass mid-tackle count. Panthers come up with possession on their 20 metre line
55 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Panthers, interesting replays ahead here.
55 min: UNFORCED ERROR New Zealand Warriors
Bill Tupou makes a meal of the ball and coughs up possession. Double knock on the call with the second mistake off the Panthers. So, the Panthers have another shot at points with a scrum feed on the Warriors 10 metre line.
56 min: Penalty to the Panthers for not clearing the ruck quick enough. Pressure mounting on the Warriors goal line as the Panthers have their second set on the line.
57 min: Luke Walsh trying to get the ball moving across the park but his pass to Travis Robinson ruled forward. The pressure released as the Warriors come up possession on their 10 metre line.
59 min: UNFORCED ERROR New Zealand Warriors
Jacob Lillyman makes another mistake for the Warriors as he failed to take the offload from Russell Packer. Scrum feed to the Panthers on the Warriors 30 metre line.
61 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.

Lachlan Coote took the line on and won as he spun out of the tackle of James Maloney and powered over the line to claim the Panthers second four-pointer. Luke Walsh with the conversion makes it a 4 point game once again.
New Zealand Warriors 16-12
63 min: UNFORCED ERROR New Zealand Warriors
Carlos Tuimavave once again drops the footy in a tackle. The Panthers come up with it on their 20 metre line with a change over.
66 min: Time off here as Shaun Johnson is getting some attention from the trainers with a cut on his head. The replay shows that his own team mate Russell Packer come in and struck Johnson's head. He has come off the field, that could hurt the Warriors causes here.
66 min: UNFORCED ERROR New Zealand Warriors
Jacob Lillyman has dropped the ball but we have time off here with the video referee brought in to have a look at what happened to Michael Luck
66 min: Play on the call despite the late hit on Michael Luck. But Good news for the Warriors as Johnson returns on the field with his head all wrapped up in bandage. The Panthers from the Lillyman drop ball they have a scrum feed on their 30 metre line.
67 min: UNFORCED ERROR New Zealand Warriors
Sebastine Ikahihifo is unable to pick up the loose ball and gives the Panthers another set to attack the Warriors line.
72 min: Forward pass called against James Maloney on halfway. The Panthers come up with possession once again with a scrum feed and a chance to post points inside the Warriors half.
73 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Travis Robinson juggles the footy and drops it. Another mistake from the Panthers sees the Warriors get another scrum feed in their own half.
74 min: Big kick from Johnson sees the ball just go over the sideline shy of the corner post. The Panthers with a task to go 90 metres to score in his set as they start it with a scrum feed.
76 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Travis Robinson. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.

The Panthers have managed to go 90 metres in their set to put a play together which has seen Travis Robinson claim his first try in his short NRL career. Luke Walsh nails the kick to give the Panthers the lead.
Penrith Panthers 18-16
79 min: Time off here in NZ with 1 second on the clock, Warriors with a scrum feed.
80 min: And that is FULL TIME at Mt. Smart Stadium sees the Panthers seal their SEVENTH win of the 2012 season and the Warriors makes it their six straight loss. The Panthers have fought back from 10-0 down to claim a 18-16 win.

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