Full Time
1:50pm Sun May 19, 2024
Round 11 - Suncorp Stadium, Milton / Yuggera-Turrbal - Crowd: 40472

Match Overview

The Warriors have claimed a 22-20 upset win over the Panthers despite missing stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson and losing Wayde Egan in the opening quarter of the match.

The Warriors started off in the worst way possible, with Taine Tuaupiki putting the opening kickoff out on the full. Penrith took full advantage of the subsequent penalty when Jarome Luai set up Dylan Edwards to open the scoring. Then to make matters worse, Egan was ruled out with a category 1 concussion symptoms within the first five minutes.

But they wouldn't give up, and after a couple of Panthers no-tries. They were able to strike back and tie the game with a try to Marcelo Montoya in the corner.

Penrith were clearly losing the field position battle towards the end of the first half, but still had a big play in them when Luai made a linebreak before finding Scott Sorensen, who did not have the pace to get to the line and made the smart decision to get the ball back to his halfback for a try. The Warriors had a good chance to grab another try of their own before the end of the half but were unable to do so, and the Panthers would lead 10-4 at the break. 

Momentum shifted very early in the second half when Isaah Yeo was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul. The Warriors completely took advantage of the extra man with quick tries to Ali Leiataua and Adam Pompey. By the time Yeo returned to the field, the Warriors held a 16-10 lead.

The Panthers were on the back foot, however as they've shown for the last 4 years that tends to be when they're at their best. Once they were able to wrestle back field position, they quickly tied the game through a try by Yeo. They soon took the lead again when Izack Tago scored, but a missed conversion kept it a four point game.

But when James Fisher-Harris was penalised for a hip drop, the Warriors were handed one last chance to win, and they took advantage when Taine Tuaupiki scored  and converted to take the lead. The Panthers had their chances to take the result back, but great goal line defence by the Warriors and a missed penalty goal by Dylan Edwards would see the Kiwis club hold on for the upset.

It's the Warriors first win since Round 5, and comes at a much needed time for the team. The road back to any sort of finals contention will be tough, especially with Johnson and Tuivasa-Sheck out for an extended period. But if they can win a game like this, they can beat most opponents they face.

For the Panthers, this is not how they wanted to start their period without Nathan Cleary. They cannot afford to complete as poorly as they did in this one and expect to win matches without their star halfback. But by no means is it time to press the panic button at the foot of the mountain.

3. Te Maire Martin

Had three try assists as he wound back the clock with a dominant performance as he filled in at halfback.

2. Taine Tuaupiki

Made a costly mistake to start the game but put that behind him in a brave and ultimately match-winning performance.

1. Jarome Luai

Was brilliant in a losing effort, being the catalyst to Penrith’s performance with a try and try assist