Wayde Egan grabbed a record-breaking four tries as the NYC Panthers dispatched the Warriors 38-16 at Pepper Stadium on Saturday.
Egan's haul, which included a hat-trick within 14 minutes of kick-off, is the most ever tries by a hooker in the Holden Cup competition.
The victory extends the Panthers unbeaten streak to nine games and solidifies their position at the top of the NYC ladder.
An early penalty to the Panthers carried them up the field in to prime attacking territory and they made the Warriors pay in the fifth minute as Wayde Egan sold the dummy and worked his way over the line. Dean Blore converted the try to make it 6-0.
Egan had his second try five minutes later, catching the Warriors defence napping on the line and scooting over from dummy half. Blore’s conversion sailed just wide as the score remained 10-0.
Egan had his third try inside fifteen minutes when he linked up with Blore to put the half in a gap before receiving a return ball to dash away and score next to the uprights. Blore made no mistake with the conversion to push the score out to 16-0.
The Panthers continued to dominate the contest and test the Warriors line and they found their way over again through Reed Izzard in the 27th minute. A short ball from Blore put the rampaging backrower in a hole close to the line to crash over. Blore’s conversion raised the flags to give his side a 22-0 lead, which they would take in to the break.
HALF-TIME: Penrith Panthers 22 – 0 NZ Warriors
The Warriors needed to start brightly and they responded through Joe Vuna in the 43rd minute. The backrower strolled over to score after a perfectly weighted pass from Chanel Harris-Tavita put him in a gap. Kane Telea added the extras to bring it back to 22-6.
Vuna had his second midway through the second-half when he burst free of a handful of defenders and raced 40 metres to score. Telea’s conversion went wide to keep the score at 22-10.
That try kicked the Panthers backed in to gear and they responded in the 63rd minute through Junior Kangaroo Stefano Hala. Egan again pierced the Warriors defence through the middle and found the prop in support to run away and score. Blore’s conversion hit the upright as his side held a 26-10 advantage.
Junior Kiwi captain Jarome Luai was next to put the Warriors to the slaughter when he broke free of the defence and isolated the fullback to put Egan in for his fourth try in the 70th minute. Blore’s conversion made it 32-14.
The Warriors grabbed their third try through Tayhler Paora in the 73rd minute, but there was still enough time for Luai to wrap up the victory with a try of his own on the siren, which Blore would convert, to give the Panthers a comfortable 38-16 win.
FULL-TIME: Penrith Panthers 38 – 16 NZ Warriors