Valiant Warriors fall to Panthers
Sunday 19 August 2012 2:00 PM
NRL ROUND 24 RESULT
PENRITH PANTHERS 18
(K Kingston, L Coote Tries; Luke Walsh 3/3 Goals)
VODAFONE WARRIORS 16
(B Henry 2, S Johnson Tries; J Maloney 2/3 Goals)
At Mt Smart Stadium.
Despite a terrific team effort, the Vodafone Warriors fell 18-16 to the Panthers in the final minutes at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Vodafone Warriors led for almost the entire match, however, when Travis Robinson crossed for the Panthers at the death, the Warriors were dealt the cruelest of blows.
With plenty of pride on the line for both clubs, the Warriors and the Panthers came out all guns blazing with some huge defence exchanged in the early minutes.
The two huge forward packs were certainly making their presence felt as they tried to gain ascendancy, however, it was Ben Henry, a forward moved to the centres in a late change, who had the first real impact of the match scoring down the right edge. Henry showed great reflexes to dive on a loose James Maloney grubber after the ball was fumbled in the in-goal to open the Vodafone Warriors account to cap off a great start to the match. Maloney then missed the conversion five metres in from the right sideline leaving the score at 4-0 after five minutes.
Defence then took back over the match, with Nigel Plum particularly devastating as he motivated his Panthers teammates. The Penrith men then began to look promising in attack, making multiple half breaks, however, when a nice long ball from Michael Gordon was intercepted by Shaun Johnson, the electric halfback ran the length of the field, increasing the lead to 10-0 after the Maloney conversion.
Despite the against the play intercept, the Panthers seemed to remain confident, and after a nice series of short passes hooker Kevin Kingston was over for the Penrith men. Kingston supported five eighth Lachlan Coote beautifully and had the pace to score under the posts to take the score to 10-6 with only minutes remaining in the first half.
Who was your Man of the Match? Vote in the Provan Summons Award here.
The second half started in almost a carbon copy of the first with Ben Henry scoring down the right edge after some nice lead up from Feleti Mateo. Henry threw a nice dummy and streaked away after receiving a long ball from Maloney in what was a great start for the home side. Maloney then added the extras taking the score to 16-6 after 46 minutes.
The Panthers, knowing they needed to be next to score, then replied in the best possible way with Lachlan Coote brushing aside Maloney to score under the posts. Coote showed great upper body strength to beat his opposite number bringing the scoreline to 16-12 with 20 minutes left on the clock.
As the game wore down, the intensity grew, the Vodafone Warriors had their chances, but it was the Panthers who struck the crucial blow with Travis Robinson scoring his first NRL try in the final minutes to level the scoreline. Luke Walsh then converted the try to put the Panthers in front 18-16 with just two minutes remaining.
The Warriors then had one final shot, giving it absolutely everything. However, when those efforts couldn’t get them over the line, the game was over, with the Panthers victorious in a very tight encounter.
Best for the Panthers were Tim Grant, Lachlan Coote and Kevin Kingston, while Best for theWarriors were Feleti Mateo, Russell Packer and Ben Henry.
Warriors: Nathan Friend (Shoulder), Shaun Johnson (Head).
Penrith Panthers: No major injuries to report.
C Tuimavave, B Tupou, L Brown, B Henry, M Vatuvei (c), J Maloney, S Johnson, R Packer, N Friend, J Lillyman, F Mateo, E Taylor, S Ikahihifo.
Bench: Sione Lousi, M Luck, Steve Rapira, P Godinet.
M Gordon, J Mansour, T Robinson, T Eisenhuth, D Simmons, L Coote, L Walsh, S McKendry, K Kingston (c),T Grant, C Newton, M Robinson, C Ciraldo.
Bench: D Weston, N Plum, A Docker, M Achurch.
In the NYC match the Warriors beat the Panthers 18-16.
The Warriors travel to WIN Stadium to take on the Dragons in Round 25 with kick-off at 5:30pm.