Warriors post emphatic win over Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors post emphatic win over Panthers

22/06/2007 09:46:14 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matt Elliott has described his side's 54-14 NRL humiliation at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors as the worst performance since his arrival at the Panthers.

The rejuvenated Warriors piled on nine tries to three at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, sending the Panthers - and their chances of a finals appearance in 2007 - packing.

Warriors five-eighth Michael Witt scored 20 points, from two tries and six goals, while skipper Steve Price chalked up more than 250m and fullback Wade McKinnon was dynamic in attack.

After a week of turmoil culminating with reports that co-captain Craig Gower wanted out of the club, Elliott was scathing.

"We didn't represent the club the way it deserves to be represented, we didn't represent ourselves the way we should have represented ourselves. We need to do a better job," said Elliott, who took over the club at the beginning of this season.

"I accept my part in what happened there today and we are not in a good place.

"Tonight there was a lack of physical presence which hasn't been there right through this tough period.

"Tonight was the first game we haven't really been in it."

The Warriors exploded from the start, with Witt scoring the first of his two tries in just the second minute of the game and bringing the crowd of 9,978 to life.

Cold, windy conditions did not stop the Warriors piling on the tries in the first half, including one in the last three seconds to Epalahame Lauaki.

The Panthers rarely looked dangerous but managed two four-pointers to go to the break down 36-10.

Although the Panthers got the first try of the second half, through Keith Peters, a 33-metre run from McKinnon to score in the 63rd minute and tries to winger Manu Vatuvei (74th minute) and second-rower Louis Anderson (78th) put the result beyond doubt.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said it was one of his side's best victories this year, but warned his team could still do better.

"We did reasonably well most of the time but there were times we probably wavered a bit," he said.

An upbeat Price said, with no suspensions and just two players out injured, the team were able to get their combinations working well.

"That is what we want every week. We just need every player to do their job," Price said.

Warriors centre Tony Martin, who left the ground during the first half, suffered a rib injury.

Witt took over the goalkicking duties, booting six from six to add to Martin's three from three.

The win moves the Warriors, who were just two points out of the eight, into ninth early in round 15 and leaves the Panthers propping up the ladder with just four wins.

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