Panthers crush Warriors finals hopes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers crush Warriors finals hopes

By Daniel Pace 30/07/2005 09:43:29 PM Comments (0)

Penrith virtually ended the New Zealand Warriors' faint hopes of securing an NRL finals berth following its 42-34 victory at Penrith Stadium.

The Panthers are out of finals contention but showed enough flair in attack to notch their seventh win in a disappointing season.

The win also helps Penrith in its battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

With their season on the line, the Warriors showed glimpses of brilliance but their defence was awful in a match in which 76 points were posted.

The Auckland-based club is four points outside the eight and must win its remaining four games to have any hope of making the finals.

Skipper Craig Gower was the architect of the seven-tries-to-six victory, setting up fullback Rhys Wesser for a 74th minute try which sealed the result.

The Panthers scored five tries in the opening half - including a double to Test winger Luke Rooney - and looked like they would cruise to victory after going to the sheds leading 28-12.

The Warriors kept themselves in the hunt through tries to hooker Nathan Fien and in-form halfback Stacey Jones but their defence was leaking like a sieve.

But the Warriors - who staged a remarkable comeback to beat the Sydney Roosters two weeks ago - scored converted tries through Awen Guttenbeil and Brent Webb to reduce their deficit to 28-24 in the blink of an eye.

Panthers coach John Lang would've been furious as his team conceded the two tries with Warriors forward Richard Villasanti in the sin-bin for a 36th minute professional foul.

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