At Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe: Warriors 6 (Josh Curran 75 min try; Reece Walsh goal), Panthers 40 (Moses Leota 14 min, Dylan Edwards 20 min, Taylan May 38 min, Brian To’o 45 min, 78 min Isaah Yeo 61 min, Liam Martin 64 min tries, Nathan Cleary 5 goals, Stephen Crichton goal). HT: 0-18.
On report: Mitch Kenny (Panthers)
The Warriors have lost their seventh game in a row, going down 40-6 to the Penrith Panthers in their final game at Moreton Daily Stadium.
This was by far the Panthers’ worst performance of the season, making 11 errors, yet to still win by such a big margin says everything about where these two clubs are at.
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It was the Warriors’ 59th and last game on the road before they’re finally back in New Zealand to take on Wests Tigers on July 3.
They were boosted with the confirmation that Addin Fonua-Blake had recovered enough from his foot injury to be able to start in the front row and there was plenty of interest in how Ronald Volkman would go in his first NRL game, playing in the halves alongside the under pressure Shaun Johnson.
Throwing Volkman in against the Panthers could be seen as a baptism of fire, but really the Warriors had nothing to lose and the club did something similar when handing Reece Walsh his club debut against the Storm last year.
The 19-year-old showed some nice footwork and kicked well, but this was never a game where he was going to shine.
Walsh had one of his best ever games defensively, but once again had few opportunities on attack. It’s like having a Ferrari and only using it for the school run, the way the Warriors are using him this season.
The Panthers who made the early errors and the Warriors had a sniff at a try in the fifth minute when Volkman’s cross field kick tested the Panthers’ defence.
Meanwhile, a Johnson grubber in goal a few minutes later was dreadful and was easily defused by the Panthers.
After a six again inside their own half, the Warriors defence was finally broken in the 14th minute as Moses Leota broke through after taking a quick offload from Api Koroisau.
Then came the usual Warriors problem of conceding a try after an error. Bayley Sironen stuffed up a play the ball inside the Warriors’s half and from the ensuing scrum Dylan Edwards found it all too easy to breeze in.
The half ended with Taylan May scoring the Panthers’ third try to help give his team an 18-0 lead at the break.
The Panthers continued scoring in the second half, with Brian To’o crossing the line in the 45th minute. It was followed by a bright patch from the Warriors, even though no points came from it and normal service was resumed when Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin scored further Panthers tries.
The Warriors were able to farewell their temporary home on a good note with a try to Josh Curran, but there wasn’t really much to celebrate.
The big moment
Bayley Sironen messing up a play the ball 20m from the Warriors line set up the Panthers for an opportunity to score their second try. Once that happened, heads dropped among the Warriors and it was the same old story after that.
5/10: The Warriors were their usual selves, some nice stuff, but unable to finish and conceding tries on the back of errors. The Panthers were unusually scrappy, making mistakes and only completing 28 of 38 sets.
The big picture
Anyone who thought the Warriors had any chance of winning this game was delusional, so not much can be read into this result. The big test will come in a couple of weeks when they host Wests Tigers in Auckland.
Nathan Cleary showed how much of a difference a quality half can make. He was responsible for numerous Panthers tries and kicked a number of unbelievable conversions.
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