A young Penrith Panthers side put New Zealand Warriors to the sword with a 36-4 victory at Panthers Stadium.
The game was a real arm wrestle to begin with. Both sides gained field position throughout the opening quarter but didn’t really threaten the line. That was until Jarome Luai took centre stage. The young halfback kicked for Tyrone Phillips to open the scoring before he straightened up and scored a try of his own.
Luai kicked a penalty and missed an easy one with half-time in sight to make it 12-0 to the Panthers at the break.
The Warriors weren’t nearly as good with the ball in the second half and were soon made to pay. Viliame Kikau got the better of Peta Hiku and set Phillips away. Phillips called Waqa Blake underneath him and the centre, returning from injury, had the pace.
Kikau got his reward six minutes later when the young Panthers halves combined to send Kikau over.
Luai scored his second when his jinking run cut the Warriors right up the middle. That try and his conversion brought up 30 points.
The Panthers were having fun. An offload from Trent Merrin found Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. He skipped across field and fed a charging Corey Harawira-Naera.
Ken Maumalo scored a consolation try for the Warriors after a nice move to the left but the game was up long before that.
Panthers: Watene-Zelzniak, Crichton, Blake, Whare, Phillips, May, Luai, Merrin, Katoa, Tamou, Kikau, Yeo, Fisher-Harris; Interchanges: Egan, Harawira-Naera, Hetherington, Leota
Tries: Phillips, Luai 2, Blake, Kikau, Harawira-Naera; Goals: Luai 6
Warriors: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Green, Johnson, Gavet, Luke, Paasi, Papali’i, Mannering, Blair; Interchanges: Tevaga, Satae, Sao, Beale
Full match reports of all four of this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.