The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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A vocal crowd of 15,732 in Auckland on a Sunday afternoon saw their team do it tough against the Penrith Panthers, finally going down by 28 - 14.
After what was deemed a lucky win last week against the Cowboys, the Warriors were predicted to come out with their guns blazing, but the Penrith side had other ideas.
A tough first half saw the possession see saw between the two sides, and the score at 4-4 for most of the half. The Panthers finally breaking the deadlock right on halftime to lead 10-4.
The Penrith Panthers soaked up sustained pressure from the Warriors, often getting in their faces, and stopping any attack the Warriors may have had.
Tries began to flow in the second half, with Rhys Wesser bagging his 3rd. But it was a case of too little too late for the Warriors, with their own handling errors letting them down at critical moments.
Leagueunlimited players of the match:
1 C Gower (Panthers) 2 R Wesser (Panthers) 3 T Puletua (Panthers)
Scorers: Warriors 14 Tries: Koopu, Tony, Fa'afili Goals: Marsh (0/2), Jones (1/1) defeated by Panthers 28 Tries: Wesser x3, Rooney, Lewis Goals: Campbell (4/5)
By the clock:
Good crowd in Auckland. Fine conditions at present, with the odd shower predicted
7th min: TRY - Koopu for Warriors. Solid start by the Warriors to have the Panthers defence working. Stacey Jones holding the ball up well in the tackle, for Koopu to run onto and score. Marsh misses the conversion from 15 metres in from touch. Warriors 4-0
11th min: TRY - Wesser for Panthers. Good hit back by the Panthers. Hint of of a knock on by Wesser, which had the Warriors standing, replay shows it was a good take. The conversion by Campbell, from a seemingly simple position, is missed. 4-4
20th min: NEWS - Both sides have had their chances, but good defence has stopped any more scoring
27th min: NEWS - Beetham (Warriors) on report for a high shot on Ward. John Lang, Panthers coach, yelling at Ward to get off the field once Ward stood up
31st min: NEWS - Puletua (Panthers) on the sideline getting a few stitches for a cut above his eye. Some bruising tackles going in on both sides
40th min: TRY - Wesser for Panthers. A knock on by the Warrior's fullback, Tony, under the posts, gave the Panthers the ball. An easy try for Wesser from the scrum. Campbell, from out in front, gets the easy kick. Panthers 10-4
HALF TIME: An arm wrestle in this low scoring game
46th min: NEWS - The Warriors have had the weight of possession since the break, but the Panthers defence has held fast
49th min: TRY - Rooney for Panthers. After soaking up a lot of work, the Panthers have scored out wide. Gower put a beaut high kick up for Rooney, who leapt high to collect the ball. Campbell kicks a beauty conversion from the sideline. Panthers 16-4
60th min: NEWS - The Warriors have stepped up a gear, but ball handling is letting them down, coupled with some excellent scrambling defence by Penrith
67th min: TRY - Wesser for Panthers. Great inside passing by the Panthers, and Wesser burst through the defensive line to score under the posts unopposed. Campbell from out in front gets the conversion. Panthers 22-4
69th min: TRY - Tony for Warriors. A short kick off by the Warriors pays off, and Motu Tony manages to duck under the defence close to the line. Jones gets the kick from out in front. Tony carried off the field after being injured while scoring, Fa'afili goes to fullback. Panthers 22-10
77th min: TRY - Lewis for Panthers. Following yet another Warriors' mistake, Gower puts in a kick for Lewis, who obliges. Campbell slots another conversion. Panthers 28-10
79th min: TRY - Fa'afili for Warriors. Finally some passes stick and Henry scores out wide, but it's acase of too little, too late. Marsh misses the conversion. Panthers 28-14
FULL TIME: A deserved win to the Panthers.