Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
20 hours ago
The Warriors, led by a kicking masterclass inspired the Warriors to a 30 points to 16 victory over the wasteful Panthers in front of 5,778 brave souls at Penrith Stadium.
It wasn't a night for expansive football, with both teams opting to tuck it under the wing in the opening exchanges. Errors would be punished with points in this weather.
Penrith were the first to crack with a Tighe error. Shaun Johnson put it high for mercurial winger Manu Vatuvei to score after a Lachlan Coote error. James Maloney opened his account with a perfect conversion.
Seven minutes later, Vatuvei would have his second. This time Johnson opting to keep the ball on the ground, grubbering for a flying Vatuvei to touch down and a perfect start after Maloney's second conversion.
The tide turned after Josh Mansour took a chance on an intercept with the Warriors bearing down for their third try. Mansour tapped it up and was away, sliding in under the posts, for the Panthers first points.
Luke Walsh was the architect for the second try, using his step to bounce away from two defenders before finding Kingston to level the score after 31 minutes following Walsh's conversion.
It would be Penrith, who would take a lead into the sheds with Brad Tighe bursting through the line, setting up the attacking opportunity. Next tackle, Luke Walsh sent it right to Geoff Daniela who just strolled in, making it 16-12 Penrith ater a topsy turvy first half.
The opening stages of the second half were much like the first, a dogged battle for field possession. Vatuvei thought he had a hat-trick after pouncing on another Johnson grubber but was denied by the video referee.
They weren't denied when Konrad Hurrell took advantage of the aggressive Warriors defense which pressured Lachlan Coote into tossing it right into the waiting hands of Hurrell, making it 18-16.
Following another masterful kick from Shaun Johnson, Mateo and Maloney combined for James to score besides the post, extending the lead to eight after the easy conversion.
There were chances for the Panthers, following a swathe of Warrior errors but poor options and panic play forced mistakes by Penrith.
Warriors would add the cherry on top when Mateo grubbered through for Kevin Locke to score. Maloney made it five for five and a comfortable 30-16 win for the Warriors.
Penrith Panthers 16 were defeated by New Zealand Warriors 30
National Rugby League - Round 14 - Monday June 11, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: Centrebet Stadium, Penrith
Referee: Steve Lyons and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and Gavin West
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 16 New Zealand Warriors 12
Penrith Panthers (16)
Tries: Geoff Daniela, Kevin Kingston, Josh Mansour
Conversions: Luke Walsh (2/3)
New Zealand Warriors (30)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei (2), James Maloney, Kevin Locke, Konrad Hurrell
Conversions: James Maloney (5/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Warragamba dam.. I mean Penrith Park for this AFTERNOON'S Monday game. Penrith will be looking to continue their good run of form recently with their win over Manly against New Zealand who are coming off a close loss to Melbourne.
Well there aren't any, both sides are going to run out, as named.
In a waterlogged NYC game, Penrith prevailed 14 points to 10 over the valiant Warriors side.
Remember if you are reading our match updates and on twitter, TAG your tweets with #NRLpenwar
For whom the bell tolls? Well it's tolling for the Warriors, as they run out onto Penrith Stadium. Panthers follow shortly after, wearing their black jerseys.
KICK-OFF! Warriors have first use of the ball, as the music continues in the background.
2 min: An awkward kick from Luke Walsh but it produced a result, Bill Tupou on the second attempt with the knock on.
5 min: Five minutes in and we have our first penalty, Lewis Brown just holding onto the Penrith player for too long.
6 min: Russell Packer pinged for another infringement.
7 min: Penrith try to go inside after throwing out wide but Brad Tighe spills it. Warriors get a let off.
VIDEO REFEREE: That was a touch too easy, Vatuvei claiming a try. Checking onside and grounding.
11 min: TRY
It's a TRY! It was a real innocuous take from Coote, he looked in control until he dropped it and Manu Vatuvei was right there on the spot, to get a palm on the ball. Maloney from wide out, slots it.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
15 min: Something you don't need in weather like this, a simple drop in the act of playing the ball. Warriors scrum, 40 out.
16 min: From the scrum, Warriors get it to Hurrell who struggles enough to get a penalty.
18 min: TRY
Two kicks, two tries for Manu Vatuvei. After the horror that was his handling last week, he pounces on a grubber from Shaun Johnson to slide in for his second. Maloney with a kick from a wider angle than his first, walks in and strikes it well enough.
New Zealand Warriors 12-0
20 min: Warriors getting some massive length from their kicking game tonight, helped by a huge wind. Alehana Mara though has gone straight up the tunnel with an ankle complaint.
23 min: Jeez, a risky play there by Walsh. He tries a chip kick for Daniela who tries to scoop it one handed but he spills it. For added measure, Manu goes slip sliding.
24 min: Warriors taking a leaf from the Panther book, trying a kick on first tackle. It's played at by Tighe, so earns Warriors an extra set.
28 min: TRY
It's an intercept-a-thon here! Warriors quell the Panthers attempt to counter attack with Mannering taking the intercept. Warriors try to spread it wide, it's trapped up and caught by Mansour who runs away for the TRY! Walsh from besides the post, nails it.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
29 min: Momentum shifting more than a ship on the high seas here at Penrith. Panthers back on top, with a penalty for offside.
31 min: TRY
Step, step, TRY! Luke Walsh spies a gap, steps and finds Kevin Kingston who dives over right besides the post. Walsh with the easy conversion, does his duty.
33 min: Luke Walsh standing deep on the last, kicks it but it rebounds into Shaun Johnson who didn't play at the ball, changeover.
34 min: James Maloney takes the line on and is slammed down, losing the ball in the tussle.
37 min: TRY
Penrith have hit the lead after a massive glut of possession for the Panthers. Tighe steps before the line, finding a way through the line and into space, he finds his support but they were wrapped up. Simple play on the next tackle, Walsh sends it wide for Daniela to stroll in. Walsh with his hardest kick of the night, hooks it wide.
Penrith Panthers 16-12
38 min: Variety once again on last by the Panthers. Walsh chips it for Mansour who gets tangled with Tighe with the former knocking on. Changeover.
39 min: Johnson aims another kick for Vatuvei but it's covered well by Coote who spills it backwards, conceding a dropout.
40 min: Warriors keep it alive off a Mateo offload, trying to find an overlap. Hurrell taps it on to Tupou can't beat his man and puts in a kick, too strong though, going dead. HALFTIME.
We're back for the second half. Some injury news, Alehana Mara is unsure about a return in the second half.
Here we go, James Maloney puts boot to ball and we're away again.
45 min: The kicking games of the two number sevens have dominated early proceedings in this second half.
47 min: Warriors close to making the Panthers pay for Walsh being trapped with the ball on fourth. Maloeny dabs it behind for Uaisele to be driven in-goal.
VIDEO REFEREE: Vatuvei might have a hat-trick, checking if he's snuck his hand under the guard of Uaisele.
48 min: WELL.. it's a no TRY! Video Referee has deemed Vatuvei has knocked the ball on.
55 min: TRY
The kicking game has been shocking for Penrith but they don't even get to it this time. Walsh offloads on last under pressure to Coote who spills it back again into the hands of Hurrell who strolls in. Maloney converts the easy conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 18-16
55 min: Sideline eye confirms, Alehana Mara won't return with at best, a high ankle sprain.
57 min: Panthers trying to run it away from their own end, another unforced error. Warriors will attack from the forty metre line.
63 min: Shaun Johnson has it on a string tonight. A towering bomb landed it on a dime, one metre out, caught by Uaisele who is unceremoniously dumped for a dropout.
VIDEO REFEREE: James Maloney struggles and forces his way over but did he ground it? That is the question.
65 min: TRY
Off a six again call, Mateo combines with Maloney for the latter to force his way over for a TRY which is awarded. Maloney with an easy conversion, slots it.
New Zealand Warriors 24-16
67 min: Six again for the Warriors, off the chargedown.
68 min: Penalty Panthers after an offside penalty.
69 min: FALCON! Geoff Daniela is hit right in the face with a errant pass from Cameron Ciraldo. Warriors ball.
70 min: Another penalty to Penrith, can they convert these chances though.
72 min: Warriors for an unknown reason, try to throw unneeded passes when leading by eight. Scrum to Penrith.
73 min: Just to one up the Warriors in the unneeded options, Walsh kicks it on first for his wingers but it's recovered by Tupou into the field of play.
75 min: Fortunate six again call for Penrith with a Newton forward pass called, played at by the Warriors.
77 min: Knock on Johnson. Warriors can't keep inviting the Panthers into their half.
78 min: FORWARD PASS.. that should be the game now, too late for the comeback. Called after the Panthers try the inside out ball.
79 min: Penalty Warriors and they'll slowly wind this game down.
80 min: TRY
Ok, maybe they won't. Mateo uses his magic touch again but with the boot, sending Kevin Locke over the TRY. Maloney converts and that is FULLTIME.
New Zealand Warriors 30-16