Second half Warriors blitz sees Penrith lose first game in over 2 months

Sam Tomkins

It was a topsy-turvy game overall and with the Penrith Panthers losing their first game in over 2 months, the loss was exacerbated by the leg injury sustained by in-form five-eighth, Jamie Soward.

Soward, who has been a big spark for the Warriors this season, was the player that led the Penrith side to the lead at half-time, they fell apart after his injury.

The second half belonged to the Warriors as they went on a blitz, scoring three tries compared to the Panthers’ four points.

The win gives the Warriors a much needed boost heading into the bye and although it is their 8th of the season, a bad for and against has them on the fringes of the eight.

Before the game, the emphasis was placed on the return of Penrith centre Jamal Idris who has had some off-field issues recently.

A surprise inclusion in the first-grade side, he was given a touch-up by his opposite number in Konrad Hurrell, who is also in some tremendous form.

With the bye for next week, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden was pleased that his side managed to avoid a last-gasp defeat.

“We are really happy with the win, it is pretty important going in to the bye,” McFadden said.

“We go into the bye now and get a good break, the players really need it and it certainly gives us some momentum to project off.

“We are keeping ourselves in there and giving ourselves a chance.”

As for the game itself, knowing how good Penrith are as a team, McFadden was pleased to more here get the win.

“It was a tough game, they are a really good side Penrith, an awkward style to play,” McFadden said.

“We have been really competing for the full 80 for the majority of the time [this season].

“We had that one little blip against Souths, but aside from that we have been working really hard for each other.”

A poor start is what ultimately cost the Panthers, even if coach Ivan Cleary thought their overall effort was good.

“Overall the effort was good, but we just didn’t start well,” said Cleary.

“When we got on top towards the end of the first half, it’s pretty much how we wanted to play.”

3. Sam Tomkins
2. Jamie Soward
1. Konrad Hurrell