Kearney adamant Warriors weren't complacent
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has denied his team were complacent after they suffered an underwhelming 36-4 loss to a depleted Penrith outfit on Friday night.
The Panthers ran in six tries to one in a lopsided contest despite missing key playmakers Nathan Cleary and James Maloney in the line-up, while the Warriors put close to their best 17 on the paddock and were heavily backed to win.
Rookie halves pairing Jarome Luai and Tyrone May stole the show over Warriors counterparts Shaun Johnson and Blake Green on the back of a dominant display from the Panthers forward pack.
"Not at all, we prepared for their best performance regardless of who they had in their side," Kearney said, when asked if the Warriors took the opposition too lightly.
"We knew what we were up for. We just didn't respond. It was a tough one tonight, I've got to say
"We're very disappointed with how it ended up."
The Warriors only trailed 12-0 at the break but were denied in the corner by a desperate play from Waqa Blake, who bundled David Fusitu'a into touch.
It proved to be one of the rare opportunities the visitors were given in the second half as the Panthers stormed home in scintillating fashion.
"I thought the first 20 minutes was an arm wrestle," Kearney said.
"I didn't think it was beyond us at halftime, we just made it hard for ourselves.
"Against the side like the Panthers you pay a price if you're not doing that well."
Kearney couldn't help but take aim at those who are writing the Warriors off on the back of the defeat with history suggesting a slide could be on the horizon.
The side had won five of six games in Australia for the 2018 Telstra Premiership season so far, prior to the loss on Friday night - a healthy record given their recent struggles on the road.
"I think people have been waiting for us to collapse all year to be honest," Kearney said.
"Sorry to disappoint you but from our point of view, what everyone says outside we're not fussed about it. We know what we've got to do.
"We've had a couple of weeks like that, but I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. I thought we had moments tonight."