The Warriors have lost their second trial of 2013, going down
32-18 to Penrith in an entertaining match at Waikato Stadium
The Panthers completely dominated the first half, scoring
four tries to one to hold a 22-4 halftime lead. Matt
Elliott's team were better in the second spell but couldn't
make up the deficit.
Lewis Brown enjoyed a happy homecoming, scoring two tries in
the first half hour for his new team.
On a sweltering day in Hamilton, the Warriors opened the
scoring with a peach of a try in the eighth minute. After
some swift dummy half runs, Thomas Leuluai created space for
Shaun Johnson. The quicksilver halfback chipped and
regathered before lobbing a kick for Manu Vatuvei, who did
well to control the touchdown close to the sideline.
Unfortunately, it was a something of a false dawn as Penrith
dominated the rest of the half and their reply was almost
immediate. They marched the length of the field on the back
of three successive penalties and Lewis Brown brushed off his
marker and sent Josh Mansour over in the corner in the 12th
Brown capped an impressive first quarter with a try under the
posts, following a long-range Penrith break. Dominque
Peyroux, who had replaced Konrad Hurrell in the 15th minute,
had missed Wes Naiqama's number cold, creating the
The visitors' hot streak continued after the quarter break. A
towering Luke Walsh bomb was split by Bill Tupou, who was hit
in a marginally late tackle by Mansour, and a gleeful Brown
was there to pick up the scraps - even coming up with a
forward roll as he dived over in the corner.
There were occasional forays by the Warriors but Penrith
dominated the ruck, go-forward and territory and were soon
rewarded with their fourth try of the half. After another
Tupou knock on - this time a clean spill - the Panthers
scored a league rarity, a try directly from a scrum.
Despite the presence of Dane Nielsen, rated as one of the
best centres in the game, the left side was exposed and David
Simmons was put on the outside of Vatuvei.
The Warriors started the second half positively and were
rewarded with a try to Ngani Laumape in the 48th minute after
slick work from Simon Mannering and Hurrell.
After building some momentum, a Johnson fumble gifted Lachlan
Coote a try, as the five-eighth sprinted 60m to dot down
under the posts to restore Penrith's sizeable lead.
The local team had dominated the third period of 20 minutes
and were rewarded with a fine try, Locke searing down the
left sideline to score after nice build-up play from Feleti
Mateo and Vatuvei.
The comeback continued in the 67th minute, with Glen Fisiiahi
collecting a pinpoint Johnson chip after Pita Godinet was
heavily involved in the buildup. However, Mansour's second
try in the 75th minute sealed the Penrith result.
Warriors 18 (Manu Vatuvei, Ngani Laumape, Kevin Locke, Glen
Fisiiahi tries; Shaun Johnson gl) Panthers 32 (Josh Mansour
2, Lewis Brown 2, Lachlan Coote, David Simmons tries; Blake
Austin, Wes Naiqama, Luke Walsh 2 gls) HT: 4-22.
- Michael Burgess of the Herald on Sunday