After a stellar performance against the Dragons last weekend, the Warriors were looking to continue their good form, away to the Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown Stadium.
After a near error-less opening ten minutes, the Panthers were winning the territory battle very slightly and had the opportunity to open the scores. However, a poor kick behind from Jarome Lui was snapped up by Patrick Herbert.
Lui made up for his poor kick, as on the next set of six his high bomb was too much for Patrick Herbert to handle, with Stephen Crichton contesting the ball, tapping back to Matt Burton, who stepped inside of his left foot for his first NRL try.
With 20 minutes gone, the Warriors didn’t seem to look as sharp in defence as they had done last week, and a second Panthers try nearly followed after scrum just 10 metres from the try-line.
This time, Api Koroisau burrowed low by the posts but ran into his own player which helped the Warriors hold the hooker off the ground.
The Panthers did extend their lead in the 22nd minute, as a kick from Blake Green ricocheted off the legs of Matt Burton, and was gathered perfectly by the half-back who raced away 40-metres to score his second.
With 12-minutes until the break, the Panthers were searching for try number three, and after running the ball on the last tackle, Burton threw a beautiful flat pass to Crichton, but the centre was wrapped up by Herbert.
The Warriors were making error after error, and the Panthers made sure to punish them. Herbert once again failed to grab a high ball, and two tackles later, Jarome Lui dribbled a kick behind the line, when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was caught at the ruck, re-gathered his own kick to dot down.
The rest of the half ticked by with no major action taking place.
HALF-TIME: Penrith Panthers 16-0 New Zealand Warriors
The Panthers were determined not to let their foot off the gas, as a Viliami Kikau and Crichton combined to create space for Josh Mansour on the outside, and the bearded winger picked up another try for the home side.
With 15 minutes of the second period gone, the Panthers were still in the ascendency as they peppered the Warriors try-line with kick after kick.
The visitors held-firm though, but with further errors with the ball in hand, they still faced an uphill battle.
That fight to pick up the two points became even harder with 16 minutes remaining, as Burton released an onrushing Billy Burns, who stepped across Tuivasa-Sheck and slid under the posts.
With the Warriors struggling to break inside the Penrith 10-metre line, and with eight minutes to go, they needed to push on to avoid being kept to zero.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck kicked down the right-hand wing and Patrick Herbert raced after it and spectacularly touched down just before the ball bounced beyond the dead-ball line. Unfortunately, the bad luck for the winger continued, as he stepped on the whitewash as he touched the ball down and the score was scrubbed off.
As the clock ticked down, the visitors were finally getting close to the Panthers try line, but another high kick from Green was plucked out the air by Mansour for the 20-metre restart.
In the dying seconds of the game, a kick out on the full by Lui was the last play, as Penrith stay undefeated.
FULL-TIME: Penrith Panthers 26-0 New Zealand Warriors
Aekins, Mansour, Whare, Crichton, To’o, Burton, Luai, Tamou, Koroisau, Fisher-Harris, Kikau, Capewell, Yeo
Interchanges: Kenny, Tetevano, Leota, Burns
Tries: Burton (2), Lui, Mansour, Burns
Goals: Crichton (3/5)
New Zealand Warriors
Tuivasa-Sheck, Herbert, Beale, Parham, Pompey, Nikorima, Green, Taunoa-Brown, Egan, Blair, Katoa, Harris, Papali’i
Interchanges: Lawton, Murchie, Faamausili, Vuniyayawa
Referee: M. Cecchin
Touch Judges: T. Roby, D. Oultram
Video Referee: B. Galea