New Zealand Warriors sealed their first play0ff spot since 2011 with a 36-16 win over Penrith Panthers.
The Warriors started the game well. After Shaun Johnson kicked a penalty, Agnatius Paasi scored the opener.
David Fusitu’a and Mason Lino added to the lead to make it a commanding one.
Josh Mansour’s lucky try after a ricochet got the Panthers back in the game just before half-time. But Fusitu’a’s second and hat-trick tries regained New Zealand’s control and took him to the top of the NRL scoring chart.
Solomone Kata’s try after another Johnson penalty helped the Warriors run away with the game.
But late tries through Waqa Blake and Trent Merrin added some respectability for Penrith.
Warriors: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Lino, Johnson, Gavet, Luke, Paasi, Harris, Blair, Mannering; Interchanges: Papali’i, Tevaga, Afoa, Pulu
Tries: Paasi, Fusitu’a 3, Lino, Kata; Goals: Johnson 6
Panthers: Watene-Zelezniak, Mansour, Blake, Whare, Crichton, Peachey, Cleary, Merrin, Egan, Campbell-Gillard, Kikau, Yeo, Fisher-Harris; Interchanges: May, Leota, Harawira-Naera, Tamou
Tries: Mansour, Blake, Merrin; Goals: Cleary 2
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.