Panthers finish strong to down Warriors
A hat-trick from Tyrone Peachey led the Panthers to a 30-18 victory over the Warriors in a scrappy affair played at AMI Stadium on Saturday night.
A first-half try from Peachey, followed by further efforts in the 60th and 76th minutes, gave Penrith the crucial edge in the ‘home’ game played in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Warriors led 18-14 at half-time, but failed to score a second-half point as they fell to their sixth loss in 10 games this season.
Gusty conditions contributed to a scrappy contest, with crucial errors from both sides ensuring the game remained in the balance until the final minutes.
Solomone Kata opened the scoring on five minutes when he palmed off Bryce Cartwright and danced his way through, with Shaun Johnson converting for a 6-0 lead.
A short time later a brain explosion from Johnson saw him offload the ball as he was being pushed back in-goal, leaving Jamie Soward to dive on the scraps for the easiest of tries.
Soward added the extras before booting a penalty on 17 minutes to take the lead for Penrith.
The unhappy start continued for Johnson when he kicked the ensuing restart out on the full, with Penrith making the most of the penalty on half way by advancing down field to score via Peachey.
Two tries in five minutes then saw the Warriors hit the lead again, with both Jonathan Wright and Blake Ayshford crossing, and Johnson defying the breeze to convert both, making it 18-14 to the Kiwi side at half-time.
Both teams enjoyed plenty of chances to add further points in the 20 minutes after the break, but repeatedly came up with errors which saw their respective completion rates plummet.
After a penalty gifted Penrith some quality field position, a Matt Moylan short ball dropped Peachey back inside to score his second try and wrestle momentum back in favour of the home team.
Playing his first NRL game back on New Zealand soil, Kiwi back-rower James Fisher-Harris then delivered a sublime offload for Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to finish athletically in the corner of the field, before Peachey caught the Warriors short down left to close the game out.
The result jumps Penrith back into the top eight, while the Warriors are left to ponder another missed opportunity in 2016.
Penrith Panthers 30 (Tyrone Peachey 3, Jamie Soward, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak tries; Soward 5 goals) defeated Warriors 18 (Solomone Kata, Jonathan Wright, Blake Ayshford tries; Shaun Johnson 3 goals) at AMI Stadium. Half-time: Warriors 18-14.