It was a spirited New Zealand Warriors performance but not enough in the end, as the Penrith Panthers ran away with the game.
There was some respectability for the Warriors in the second half, as they performed slightly better.
The first half is where all the damage was done by the Panthers, though they also had some glaring issues, especially with last tackle kicks.
The early running went the Panthers way and they were rewarded on the back of a dropped bomb from Patrick Herbert.
Young Panthers half Matt Burton was there to pounce to score the first try of his rugby league career.
The second would soon follow as Burton had two reasons to cheer instead of one.
Blake Green’s kick ricocheted off Burton, who chased the ball down, scooped it up and raced away to score.
Up 10-0, the Warriors were hopeful that they could wrestle back some momentum.
Try as they might, they lacked the punch and execution of last week and in the end, it cost them throughout the match.
The next try came via Jarome Luai. Spotting the overlap right, he instead shimmied and grubbered for himself.
He won the race easily to score and only further increased the margin between the two sides.
Josh Mansour scored his first try in eighteen games soon after, finishing off a lovely play down the left hand flank.
The game was put to bed late on when Burton turned provider, finding a rampaging Billy Burns who steamed onto the ball to score.
In the end, try as they might, although their intensity was high, the Warriors just seemed to penetrate the Panthers line.
There was a try almost given for them, though, a miraculous effort by Patrick Herbert.
It deserved a try but it was instead given no try with the ruling being he was touch in-goal.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary praised the way his side responded after their 90-minute draw last week.
“In terms of their diligence and competitiveness across the eighty minutes, I thought it was much better last night,” Cleary said.
Despite their win, Cleary admits the side is still developing as a unit.
“We’re a work in progress,” Cleary admitted.
“It’s nice to be undefeated but we’re just trying to set a foundation.”
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was disappointed and knows his side played themselves out of the contest.
“I don’t think we gave ourselves a chance tonight,” Kearney said.
“What the new game is teaching us is that when you miss the jump or lose momentum, it’s very hard to claw back.”
Kearney did praise the Penrith side for their performance.
“I thought Penrith played very well tonight, but we certainly didn’t help ourselves,” Kearney added.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. James Fisher-Harris
2. Matt Burton
- Tohu Harris