Panthers suffer heavy defeat at home

The Panthers suffered a 30-10 loss to the New Zealand Warriors at Panthers Stadium on Friday.

Despite enjoying 53% possession and plenty of opportunities to score, the Panthers couldn't capitalise until late in the game.

Liam Martin scored his first NRL try and Viliame Kikau also bagged a four-pointer, but it was far too little and far too late as the Panthers sunk to a heavy loss.

Early on, James Maloney and Sione Katoa forced drop outs to set up an extended period on the Warriors line, but Penrith’s attack left plenty to be desired, as it was all night.

The Warriors were not so wasteful, punishing the Panthers for being lazy around the ruck with two quickfire tries, giving them a 12-0 lead after 18 minutes.

First, Issac Luke burrowed over in the 14th minute. Then, shortly after the kick-off, Kodi Nikorima slipped away, putting the Warriors on an attack which culminated in Patrick Herbert crashing over out wide.

Herbert converted both tries, then kicked a penalty goal in the 30th minute after the Panthers made an error coming out of their own end, making it 14-0.

The Panthers looked destined to score in the 34th minute after Peta Hiku knocked on deep in his own half, but Dean Whare’s final pass to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was a poor one.

Another opportunity went begging in the 38th minute, as Moses Leota spilled Sione Katoa’s bullet pass over the line, and the Panthers went into half-time scoreless.

HALF-TIME: WARRIORS 14 – PANTHERS 0

The Panthers’ attack was much improved early in the second half, as Nathan Cleary and James Tamou both came close in the 46th minute, but they were still unable to find the line.

A mix-up at the back between Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Dylan Edwards handed the Warriors possession, and it was not long after that another Herbert penalty goal took it to 16-0 in the 51st minute.

That margin stretched to 22-0 in the 57th minute when Kodi Nikorima sidestepped his way to the line after Blake Green switched the play.

Herbert’s fourth penalty goal of the night made it 24-0 in the 66th minute.

The Panthers regained possession from the kick-off, and finally opened their account in the 70th minute when Dean Whare drifted infield and sent Liam Martin over for his first NRL try. Nathan Cleary converted to trim it down to 24-6.

The Warriors quickly reasserted their dominance as Agnatius Paasi carried four Panthers defenders over the try line in the 72nd minute, restoring the visitors’ 24-point margin.

Viliame Kikau powered over from dummy half in the 78th minute to add some respectability to the scoreboard, but it was still a convincing win for the Warriors.

FULL-TIME: WARRIORS 30 – PANTHERS 10