The NYC Panthers welcomed the New Zealand Warriors to Pepper Stadium looking to make it nine wins in a row and never looked in any doubt of doing just that.
Led by Braidon Burns who grabbed five tries of his own, Penrith put in a comprehensive 80-minute performance to walk away 74-10 winners for consecutive games and extend their lead atop the Holden Cup ladder.
After a commanding win against the Raiders last time out, the Panthers started with plenty of intensity and won a penalty in the Warriors half within two minutes.
Penrith taking full advantage to open the scoring with a try in the third minute. Dylan Edwards finding Caleb Aekins at left centre who found an open passage to the line. Nathan Cleary converting from out wide to make it 6-0 early to the Panthers.
A forty-twenty the following set, orchestrated another Panthers try in the sixth minute as Jack Hetherington muscled his way over the line next to the posts. Cleary making no mistake from the kick to make it 12-0 Penrith.
The Warriors had their first sniff of the Panthers line minutes later after a Penrith fumble and offside tackle put them within 10 metres of the try-line. Jack Ennis doing enough to intercept a pass on the left wing to keep them temporarily out.
They were however to grab their first try in the 11th minute with Erin Clark burrowing under his tacklers to find the Panthers try-line next to the posts. The Warriors Zion Ioka successfully converting to narrow Penrith’s lead to 12-6.
A Warriors penalty and Panthers dropout gave them another sight of the try line and a big dummy from winger Mose Esera down the left saw him cross untouched for the Warriors second try of the game. Ioka couldn’t convert to tie the scores as the Panthers held on to a 12-10 lead on 18 minutes.
The Panthers would extend this lead minutes later as Braidon Burns drew in the Warriors winger down the right and flicked passed to Ennis who darted over. Cleary’s conversion again successful as the Panthers led 18-10 with 21 minutes gone.
It wasn’t all attack for Penrith as the Warriors forced two consecutive dropouts and called the Panthers defence into action. A defence that held firm allowing Penrith to eventually turn defence into attack and grab a try for themselves. Burns crossing over after a great run from Tyrone May who sent him on his way. Conversion successful to make it 24-10 Penrith.
The Panthers were building momentum now and Ratu Tuisese would quickly grab another Penrith try after some brilliant passing and a fend from the winger saw him cross over down the left. Cleary nailing another tough kick to make it 30-10 to the Panthers on 34 minutes.
Poor ball handling from the Warriors with halftime approaching gifted the Panthers a try leading into the break as Burns beat his fellow centre to cross over down the right after the siren. Cleary continuing his perfect kicking record to extend Penrith’s lead.
Half T ime- Panthers 36-10
A Warriors knock on from the kick-off allowed the Panthers to pick up where they left off with Burns crossing for his third try of the game within a minute of the restart. The centre showing enough speed and strength to find his way to the line down the right. Cleary again converting from a tough angle to make it 42-10 Panthers.
It was a back and forth following ten minutes as both sides went within 10 of their opponent’s line. Penrith eventually breaking the Warriors defence with a spectacular 20 metre cut out pass from May finding Tuisese down the left who fended his way to the line. No mistake from the boot of Cleary as Penrith led 48-10 on 52 minutes.
Burns would grab his fourth try of the game minutes later as Penrith made the most of a high ball the Warriors simply couldn’t handle. Cleary with another sideline conversion making it 54-10 Panthers.
On 60 minutes, Burns went from try scorer to provider as he passed 10 metres out to find Kaide Ellis down the right who crossed over. Conversion again perfect from Cleary as Penrith’s lead blew out to 60-10.
The Warriors almost managed a response minutes later only to be held up over the line as the Panthers refused to have their line broken.
After adding so many points with his boot, Cleary added four more with his first try of the afternoon after a kick was fumbled by the Warriors five metres out from their line with Cleary there to capitalise. Cleary adding two more with his boot to make it 66-10 Panthers.
With ten minutes to go, Penrith were hungry for more as an Edwards chip on the last fell kindly in the Warriors try-line for Burns who grabbed his fifth try of the game. Cleary unable to keep his perfect kicking record in tact as Penrith went 70-10 up.
The Panthers were to add salt into the Warriors wound however with Liam Martin storming over down the left after the siren. Dylan Edwards unable to convert giving the Panthers an identical winning score-line as last week.
Full Time: Panthers 74-10