The New Zealand Warriors continued a great run of form at home with an entertaining 30-20 victory over a gallant Penrith Panthers side at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
The first half could've been split into two quarters with the Warriors fast out of the blocks scoring the first two tries within the first 11 minutes. Firstly, Konrad Hurrell got over the chalk, bringing Jamal Idris and Josh Mansour over with him before Penrith had even had possession of the ball. The Kiwis were in again with Vatuvei running and scoring in the corner off a great left side attack that included Townsend and Tomkins. Johnson slotted 2 sideline conversions and within a blink of an eye the home side led 12-0.
During the next 20 minutes of the match, momentum swung in favour of the Panthers with a run of their own. Soward with a great individual effort after a string of passes saw him score under the black dot and bring the score back to 12-6. Mansour got a 4 pointer of his own to bring the score level and when Moylan scored off an inch perfect Peter Wallace grubber through the Warriors line the Panthers had a shock 16-12 lead heading into the sheds.
The second half started off with the Warriors coming out the strongest and they drew back level through a try to their captain Simon Mannering who barged over through some soft Penrith defence. A bizarre try drew the Warriors ahead when Moylan cleaned up a Johnson grubber in the in goal and inexplicably threw a pass intended for Mansour and Konrad Hurrell didn't need another invitation as he grounded the ball just inside the dead ball line.
Segeyaro got the away side back into it when Matt Moylan strolled through a gap in a broken Warrior defence and scampered away to offload to Segeyaro who ran 30 metres to score. The game was iced soon after when Johnson intercepted a Segeyaro pass to scoot away under the posts. The game petered out towards its inevitable conclusion when with 30 seconds left a grubber from Tomkins was met with Wallace holding his opponent back in a blatant professional foul and 10 minutes in the bin.
The Warriors extended a great run of form which has seen them win 6 of their last 8 games while Penrith remain at the right end of the table despite the loss which was their first defeat since April 27. Looking ahead, the Warriors will benefit from their second bye in Round 17 while Penrith will take on the Wests Tigers without Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods at Leichhardt next Sunday.