Warriors spoil party

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The New Zealand Warriors spoiled the farewell party for a host of departing Panthers players with a 26-12 victory at Centrebet Stadium.

 

Down 16-0 at half-time, Penrith managed to get within six points of their opponents mid-way through the second half but a fairytale finish for Petero Civoniceva, Trent Waterhouse, Matthew Bell and Adrian Purtell wasn't to be.

Waterhouse went close to scoring twice during the first half but was denied in the corner both times. It was ultimately the Warriors who scored first when Shaun Johnson ran 90 metres to cross.

The Warriors' second try came when fullback Michael Jennings – who later suffered a shoulder injury – coughed up the ball right on the goal-line, allowing Ben Matulino to cross.

When Kevin Locke scored on the stroke of half-time, the mission looked too tough for Penrith to complete.

But back-to-back tries to David Simmons and Brad Tighe gave the Panthers some hope, particularly when a Luke Walsh penalty goal narrowed the gap to 18-12.

The Warriors confirmed the victory with their second second half penalty goal, going up 20-12 with less than 10 minues to play. They scored again late to run salt into the wounds.

Whilst Penrith were plucky throughout the game and showed signs of quality football, they were again ill-disciplined at crucial stages, something that has dogged the side in recent seasons.

A group of dedicated fans stayed after the game to bid farewell to Penrith's departing players with a lap of honour and on-field presentation.

Earlier, Penrith's Toyota Cup side produced a stunning upset to easily defeat the first-placed Warriors.

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