Warriors surge into top Four

The New Zealand Warriors claimed a top 4 spot in Penrith after a battle of speed saw the Warriors take down the Penrith Panthers 26-12 in front of a solid Centrebet Stadium crowd.

Penrith went off too a good start in front of a vocal crowd, but defence, weather and errors kept them off the scoreboard. Warriors claimed first points of the game with the sheer speed of Shaun Johnson streaking 80 odd metres down the left flank to score.  The next try looked easier from the play following the missed conversion, Warriors put on a great set with a superb kick and a chase that forced an error from Jennings for Matulino to collect it and score under the posts.

In the final minute, Locke emulated the effort for the first try to streak 60 metres down the same flank to score. Locke got one up on Johnson offering an easy conversion to Maloney with an advanced position. Warriors had literally raced to 16 nil lead heading into half time.

Early in the second 40, Jennings tried the left flank streak right out of the Warriors play book, but the speed of Locke was too good to allow him to emulate the result, with Locke chasing him and putting on the tackle. The run did however offer field position which Penrith used to create their first points of the game in the 44th minute through David Simmons.

Warriors added their first points of the second 40 through a penalty goal in the 51st minute when they opted to take their lead outside two converted tries after a penalty right in front. Panthers pulled off what had been the most successful play of the night putting in their own long range streaking effort for a try, this time through Tighe who not even Locke could stop in the 56th minute. 

The greasy conditions and pouring rain looked to be working in Penrith's favour as they began to eye off a comeback. So confident were the home side that they opted to take the two off a penalty in the 64th minute despite being more than a converted try behind.  The weather took its toll on the succeeding play with errors and rain alike flowing think and fast.

Maloney seemed to claim the game with one big kick, nailing a 40/20 in the 70th minute to claim some momentum and add to their lead which they did through a penalty goal to extend the lead beyond a converted try making a late come back unlikely. Warriors proceeded to score the final points of the game in the 76th minute to Vatuvei to help them to a 26-12 victory to catapult them into the top four.

Match Details
Penrith Panthers 12 were defeated by New Zealand Warriors 26
National Rugby League - Round 24 - Saturday August 20, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Centrebet Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Grant Atkins
Crowd: 11,644
Halftime: Penrith Panthers 0 New Zealand Warriors 16

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Kevin Locke (1 Try)
2 Points - Feleti Mateo
1 Point - James Maloney (3 Conversions, 2 Penalty Goals)

Tries: Brad Tighe, David Simmons
Conversions: Luke Walsh (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Luke Walsh (1/1)

Tries: Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, Kevin Locke, Shaun Johnson
Field Goals: Shaun Johnson (0/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/4)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (2/2)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to Centrebet Stadium in Penrith for League Unlimited's coverage of the round 24 clash between the Penny Panthers and the men from across the Tasman, the New Zealand Warriors.
The Panthers sprung a big upset in the Toyota Cup taking down the junior Warriors 32 points to 12.
TEAM NEWS: The Panthers are 1-17 as per program. Warriors have two superficial changes with Lillyman and Mateo dropping to the bench with Rapira and Taylor taking their spots on the run on side respectively.
1 min: Game on.
4 min: Good start to the game from both sides, with perfect completion rates so far and superb go forward.
7 min: Great contest happening in the middle here.
10 min: Try goes begging for the Panthers as Trent Waterhouse puts down a pass and denies his side first points.
10 min: PENALTY to the Warriors for Panthers inside the ten.
13 min: A superb effort from Purtell stabs the ball away from the sideline toward the in goal where the Warriors have to play at it and a line drop out ensues.
14 min: Panthers lose the ball to undo their attack.
15 min: PENALTY to the Warriors against Burns for a steal.
16 min: Warriors undo their own attack with an error.
16 min: PENALTY to the Panthers, their first of the night, courtesy of Maloney hanging on too long in the tackle.
18 min: 20 metre restart to the Warriors after Simmons knocks on a perfect Walsh boot in goal.
21 min: Some good defensive pressure from Penrith is making proceedings difficult for the visitors.
24 min: Strange series of events and Berrigan puts down a ball cold after intercepting it and looking hard to stop.
25 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Penrith TRY.
25 min: NO TRY! Superb defence from Locke and Mannering denies Waterhouse.
28 min: TRY
TRY to the Warriors!
Locke scoops the ball up off his toes and offloads to Johnson who runs with blinding speed to the tryline to score. Conversion attempt from Maloney unsuccessful.
New Zealand Warriors 4-0
31 min: TRY
TRY to the Warriors!
Superb kick from Maloney and a fantastic chase from the Warriors puts pressure on Jennings to force the ball out for Matulino to collect it and score between the posts. Conversion from Maloney successful.
New Zealand Warriors 10-0
35 min: A mistake from Heremaia offers Penrith a scrum on halfway.
36 min: Penrith return the favour returning the ball 8 metres the Warriors side of halfway.
38 min: Perfectly weighted stab kick from Johnson forces Purtell to play at it in goal to force a line drop out for a repeat set to the Warriors.
39 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Warriors TRY.
39 min: NO TRY! A superb try saving tackle from Purtell denies Locke after a perfect offload from Mateo.
40 min: TRY
TRY to the Warriors!
Locke steals a Tighe chip kick and streaks 60 metres to score. Conversion from Maloney successful.
New Zealand Warriors 16-0
40 min: That will be the half with Warriors leading 16 nil.
41 min: Second half under way.
43 min: Michael Jennings breaks through and streaks down the left flank before being stopped by a superb try saving tackle to catch him in clear space.
45 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers!
Ball goes through hands before ginding Simmons to score in the corner. Conversion attempt from Walsh unsuccessful.
New Zealand Warriors 16-4
48 min: PENALTY to the Warriors against Civinoceva for interfering in the play the ball.
49 min: Vatuvei looked to have scored but had a foot into touch.
50 min: PENALTY for an incorrect play the ball against Bell and it looks like New Zealand will take the two here.
Maloney collects the two points. Jennings is in the sheds having a shoulder looked at.
New Zealand Warriors 18-4
53 min: PENALTY to the Panthers against Hohaia for a flop.
54 min: Penrith can't sustain any pressure and send a ball sailing over the sideline.
57 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers!
Fancy footwork from Tighe and a long streak down the sideline and not even Locke can catch him as he improves his position. Luke Walsh converts.
New Zealand Warriors 18-10
58 min: PENALTY to the Panthers who are now starting to get on a roll as the rain buckets down at Penrith.
61 min: Warriors having some trouble on their goal line giving a second consecutive scrum away ten out from their own line.
63 min: PENALTY to Penrith, a tough call against Rapira for a push on Douglas.
Penrith opt to take the 2 and Walsh collects them. News from the Penrith shed is that Jennings will not be back out tonight.
New Zealand Warriors 18-12
66 min: Errors both ways and Warriors have an opportunity.
67 min: A sloppy effort in sloppy conditions and the Warriors hand the ball back to Penrith.
68 min: Terrible mistake from Vatuvei 20 out and a PENALTY too give Penrith a fantastic opportunity to level.
69 min: Penrith return the ball with an error of their own.
70 min: Maloney in a pressure position pulls out a marvellous kick to nail a 40/20 for the Warriors for a scrum ten out.
71 min: PENALTY to the Warriors, markers not square and they should take the shot at goal.
Maloney collects the 2 points.
New Zealand Warriors 20-12
74 min: Waterhouse loses the ball 25 out from his own line to give Warriors an opportunity to seal this game.
77 min: TRY
TRY to the Warriors!
Johnson grubbers to the corner and Vatuvei collects it and advances his position in goal to score near the uprights. Maloney converts.
New Zealand Warriors 26-12
Johnson attempts a long range field goal, but not a great attempt at all.
New Zealand Warriors 26-12
80 min: An exciting finish to the end with both sides going for last ditch attacking plays whilst the ball remained alive, but all the points have been scored and Warriors take the game 26-12.

Click Here to view the live update of the game. | To discuss the game with 1000s of other fans, please click here.