Panthers advance with win over Warriors

The first elimination match of the 2018 finals series and it was always going to be an intriguing match up. I was most looking forward to this match this week as both teams have the ability to turn it on out of nowhere.

After the first couple of sets Maloney’s legs were taken out from underneath him off a kick by Agnatius Paasi and the Panthers elected to go for the penalty goal. Cleary slotted the Penalty over and the Panthers held a 2-0 lead in the 3rd minute.

Penrith were starting to throw some offloads away and Kikau threw an offload that went to ground and Shaun Johnson scooped it up and ran 30m but couldn’t get to the try line. A penalty to he Warriors was blown for an offside on the next play and Isaac Luke scurried over from dummy half and the Try was rewarded by the video referee. Shaun Johnson converted from in front and Warriors were ahead after 8 minutes 6-4.

James Gavet took the hit up off the kick off after the Try and was awarded a penalty for a strip but the Warriors would turn the ball over the very next play as they couldn’t play the ball correctly and the Panthers were on the attack 30 out. Penrith couldn’t capatilise on the opportunity and the Warriors held them out and gained a penalty on the back of it.

Some Warriors magic was on show in the next play as they aimed at the Panthers left hand side defence Tohu Harris, Peta Hiku and Shaun johnson all had a hand in the Try that Fusitua finished off in the corner. Johnson with the pin point conversion from the sideline and Warriors 12-2 in front.

With their backs to the wall the Panthers kept digging in and were rewarded with a great 40/20 by James Maloney (technically taken out by Tuivasa-Sheck) but it was a great kick nonetheless.

The Panthers finally went over through a great kick threaded through the Warriors defensive line and Tyrone Peachey swooped through and planted it down before he dead ball line. Nathan Cleary was able to convert and close the gap 12-8.

The Warriors kicked out on the full on the kick off and the momentum swung in favour of the Panthers when James Maloney was able to go over for the Panthers and Cleary again slotted the conversion and Penrith were in front 14-12.

The Warriors were in trouble as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was carried off by 2 trainers after a knee collision with Sione Katoa (the hooker not the Sharks winger). With a little shift in positions Beale came on into centre and Hiku to fullback.

On the last the Panthers decided to run and shovelled it through the hands on the right and Peachey finished it off in the corner. Cleary was unable to convert. Panthers 18-12.

Penrith went into half time with a 18-12 lead.

The second half opened with the Warriors giving away an early penalty in the first set and Penrith were on the attack inside the Warriors 20m early and Isaac Luke hammered James Maloney in a great tackle and the Warriors got the penalty for the accidental offside. Maloney was able to get up from the tackle.

The Warriors gained another penalty and it was their turn to go on the attack but they couldn’t convert the opportunity and the Panthers forced an error from Veteran Simon Mannering.

The Panthers forced a few drop outs and the Warriors kept them out until a set play on the right hand side and Christian Crichton went over in the corner. Cleary converted from the sideline and Penrith held a 24-12 lead after 50 minutes.

The Warriors were out on heir feet and Penrith were starting to get a roll on down field and with all the time in the world James Maloney slotted a field goal and Panthers led 25-12 with 20 to go.

Warriors with another short drop out failed to go the 10 metres and Nathan Cleary kicked the penalty goal. Panthers 27-12.

The Warriors tried a short kick off and it paid off when Corey Harawira-Neara made the error and with their season on the line the Warriors had good field position but off the back of a lot of defending the Warriors had no energy to do anything with the ball and Beale dropped a simple ball.

Warriors are the first team eliminated and Penrith go through to the second week of the 2018 finals series with a great 27-12 win.

Man of the Match: James Maloney

Scoring Summary:

3’ Nathan Cleary (Penalty Goal)
20’ Tyrone Peachey (Try)
21’ Nathan Cleary (Conversion)
23’ James Maloney (Try)
24’ Nathan Cleary (Conversion)
28’ Tyrone Peachey (Try)
50’ Christian Crichton (Try)
51’ Nathan Cleary (Conversion)
59’ James Maloney (Field Goal)
67’ Nathan Cleary (Penalty Goal)

8’ Isaac Luke (Try)
9’ Shaun Johnson (Conversion)
13’ David Fusitua (Try)
14’ Shaun Johnson (Conversion)


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