Panthers down Warriors in
thriller

Fulltime score: Round 21 Penrith Panthers 42 v New Zealand Warriors 34

Match summary: The Penrith Panthers have made life very difficult for the New Zealand Warriors with a 42-34 victory at Penrith Stadium tonight.

In a bizarre encounter, where 76 points were scored including 13 tries and 12 goals, the Penrith Panthers showed the Warriors the door in terms of title contention for 2005 and showed again that there are no easy-beats in this year?s competition.

It was the Warriors that got the scoring underway with a try to hooker Nathan Fien after just three minutes of play.

But with the Panthers desperate to avoid the wooden spoon, the early Warriors try seemed to be just the wake-up call they needed, and the Panthers scored the next three tries to lead 18-6 with 23 minutes remaining in the first half.

A try to each side before the break saw the Panthers hold a comfortable 28-12 lead at halftime.

The Warriors came out firing in the second half, and amazingly levelled the scores at 28-all just 11 minutes into the second half following an unbelievable try to winger Todd Byrne.

But it was the Panthers' night and with tries to Paul Franze and Rhys Wesser in succession, the Panthers held off the Warriors charge with an entertaining 42-34 win at home.

The Panthers should now avoid the wooden spoon with a bye still up their sleeve, whereas the Warriors now seem certain to miss the top eight as their up and down season continues.

Panthers v Warriors match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game

Scorers: PENRITH PANTHERS 42 Tries: Rooney 2, Waterhouse, Priddis, Gower, Franze, Wesser Goals: Campbell 7 NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS 34 Tries: Fien, Jones, Guttenbeil, Webb, Byrne, Faumuina Goals: Jones 5

Venue: Penrith Football Stadium Crowd: 13,985 Referee: Russell Smith Half time: Panthers 28-12

Live commentary: Welcome to this Round 21 clash between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors from Penrith Stadium. The home side will be playing to avoid the wooden spoon while the Warriors will look to increase their chances of a finals berth with a win tonight.

0 min: KICKOFF!

3 min: TRY-Warriors Nathan Fien scores after a knock-on in the first set of six from Panthers fullback Rhys Wesser. Conversion successful from Stacey Jones. Warriors 6-0

8 min: TRY-Panthers Trent Waterhouse strolls over to score following a brilliant ball from Preston Campbell. Conversion successful from Preston Campbell. 6-6

11 min: TRY-Panthers Luke Rooney scores untouched after a break from Paul Franze. Conversion successful from Preston Campbell. Panthers 12-6

17 min: TRY-Panthers Luke Priddis throws a dummy from a quick tap close to the Warriors' goal-line and scores. Conversion successful from Preston Campbell. Panthers 18-6

25 min: TRY-Warriors Stacey Jones fields a magnificent offload from Clinton Toopi to score next to the posts. Conversion successful from Stacey Jones. Panthers 18-12

30 min: TRY-Panthers Craig Gower charges through a hole in the Warriors' defensive line to score under the posts. Conversion successful from Preston Campbell. Panthers 24-12

35 min: SIN BIN-Richard Villasanti has been sent to the sin bin for a professional foul by referee Russell Smith.

36 min: TRY-Panthers Luke Rooney manages to stay in the field of play and score in the corner, decision was sent to the video referee, giving the green light. Conversion unsuccessful from Preston Campbell. Panthers 28-12

HALF TIME-An eventful first half with 7 tries scored. The Panthers have dominated possession so one gets the feeling that the Warriors are going to have a big say in what happens in the second half, and this one is far from over. Richard Villasanti is due back from the sin bin at the 45th minute.

Second half underway at Penrith Stadium

43 min: TRY-Warriors Awen Guttenbeil scores beside the posts after a beautiful inside ball from Stacey Jones. Conversion successful from Stacey Jones. Panthers 28-18

45 min: TRY-Warriors Brent Webb scores after a brilliant dummy half break from hooker Lance Hohaia, Webb came through in support and scored under the posts. Conversion successful from Stacey Jones. Panthers 28-24 Villasanti returns from the sin bin.

51 min: TRY-Warriors Warriors or Globetrotters?, brilliant basketball skills from Sione Faumuina linking with Jerome Ropati, and Todd Byrne coming through in support to score in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful from Stacey Jones. 28-28

60 min: NEWS-A bizzare match this evening, with 56 points scored in almost as many minutes, Golden point looks on the cards if possession flow is even from here.

63 min: TRY-Panthers Paul Franze breaks through a fragile Warriors' defensive line and runs 50 metres to score in the corner. Conversion successful from Preston Campbell. Panthers 34-28

68 min: NEWS-Controversial decision from the sideline officials, Ben Ross charged into Stacey Jones late after a kick, the Warriors then retaliated, and the penalty was awarded to the Panthers.

70 min: PENALTY GOAL-Panthers Preston Campbell takes advantage of the decision by slotting the ball through the posts. Panthers 36-28

73 min: TRY-Panthers Rhys Wesser scores to wrap the game up for the Panthers. Conversion successful from Preston Campbell. Panthers 42-28

80 min: TRY-Warriors Touch football from the Warriors to keep the ball alive and Sione Faumuina scores under the posts. Conversion successful from Stacey Jones. Panthers 42-34

FULL TIME: The Panthers have won an entertaining encounter by 42 points to 34 at Penrith Stadium. The Panthers have now ensured that the wooden spoon will not be heading their way in 2005, while it is now almost certain that the Warriors will miss the finals this season.

----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Priddis (Panthers) 2 - P Campbell (Panthers) 1 - S Faumuina (Warriors) -----------------------------------------

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