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NRL: Warriors limping home after being mauled by Panthers & More Breaking News Headlines Today

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Warriors v Penrith Panthers highlights. Video / Sky Sport

Panthers 40
Warriors 6

The Warriors can’t get home soon enough.

In their final match before returning to Mt Smart Stadium, it was another heavy defeat for the Kiwi side, falling to the first-placed Penrith Panthers 40-6 in Redcliffe.

The scoreline doesn’t indicate it, but this was an improved showing from the Warriors. They defended well in the middle and worked their way up field well, but when they got deep inside Penrith territory their attack was uninspired.

Rather than play a bit of football and look to attack off the cuff, it was all very formulaic – wasting too many tackles on set-up plays and generally ending their sets with ineffective kicks which were dealt with by the Penrith defence with relative ease.

After a bad week last time out, fullback Reece Walsh’s effort could not be questioned against the Panthers. He seemed to be the only player interested in trying something different as he looked to offload at every opportunity – often to find no one running a line in support – while he worked well on occasion from dummy half and took on some of the kicking duties, while assisting on the team’s only points.

On the other side of the ball, Penrith made a point to attack the edge of debut half Ronald Volkman – which was made more vulnerable 15 minutes in when centre Adam Pompey was forced off with an apparent rib injury and second rower Bayley Sironen was forced to play in the centres.

Volkman was solid on debut, though his involvement didn’t appear to add any inspiration for the Warriors who eventually fell into familiar patterns and conceded some horrendously soft tries.

Jazz Tevaga looks dejected during the round 15 match between the Warriors and the Panthers. Photo / Getty
Jazz Tevaga looks dejected during the round 15 match between the Warriors and the Panthers. Photo / Getty

It all started off quite well for the Warriors, who had a few chances inside Penrith territory early – without really firing a shot – while the Panthers were scratchy early.

It was a quick dart out of dummy half from hooker Apisau Koroisau that got the Panthers going. Exploiting the Warriors while they were working back into the defensive line, Koroisau engaged the defence before sending prop Moses Leota through a big gap to go over untouched.

Fullback Dylan Edwards soon added to the score with a set play from the scrum. The Panthers looked to shape wide before Nathan Cleary sent Edwards away back on the inside, exploiting a hole as Tohu Harris was a bit slow away from the scrum.

The Warriors continued to toil away to no avail – with commentator and former NRL coach Shane Flanagan imploring the team to “throw that playbook out the window and just go and play football” – and a try to Panthers wing Taylan May on the stroke of half time gave the side a healthy lead.

The story continued in the second half. The Warriors tried but didn’t fire a shot against the Panthers defence, but conceded three very soft tries to see the deficit inflate to 34 points.

They were ultimately able to cross following a lovely 40/20 kick from Chanel Harris-Tavita, with Walsh sending Josh Curran through a gap close to the line. However, it was mere consolation as they fell to their seventh straight loss.

With next week off due to representative round, the side will be buoyed by the fact their next NRL match comes back home at Mt Smart Stadium, where they meet Wests Tigers on July 3.

Panthers 40 (Brian To’o 2, Moses Leota, Dylan Edwards, Taylan May, Isaiah Yeo, Liam Martin tries; Nathan Cleary 5 cons, Stephen Crichton con)
Warriors 6 (Josh Curran try; Reece Walsh con)
HT: 18-0

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