Friday, 29 July 2016

Flash Back Friday - Round 24 vs Penrith Panthers 2011

Date: Saturday, August 20th, 2011 
Kick Off: 7.30pm (Local Time)
Referees: Gavin Badger, Brett Suttor
Venue: Penrith Park (Sydney)
Crowd: 11,644
Score: NZ Warriors 26 def Penrith Panthers 12

Flash Back Friday this week takes us back to 2011 where the Warriors headed into the Round 24 clash looking to force their way into the top 4 with a victory.

In what was Cleary's first visit to the foot of the mountains since being appointed the Panthers coach in 2012, the Penrith outfit set out to show their incoming coach exactly what they were capable of.

Unfortunately for the Panthers it wasn't a night that would impress their soon to be coach as the Warriors got the job done comfortably against the home side and cemented themselves a spot in the top 4.

Penrith blew an early oppurtunityu to take the lead after after finding room on the outside of the Warriors defence only for Waterhouse to drop the ball cold with the try line begging. Not long after it was Penrith again asking questions of the Warriors defence and it was Waterhouse again who was heading for a certain try, only this time it was brilliant last ditch defence from Mannering with the help of Locke to deny him another try and bundle him into touch.

From the ensuing scrum, Locke poked his nose threw the opposition defence and produced a stellar offload to put the electrifying Johnson into open space. With the cover defence looking like they had him covered it was a trademark step that left them bamboozled and SJ went into score untouched.

Matulino was next to score, coming from an error by Jennings on his own goal line giving Big Ben one of the easiest tries he is likely to score in his career, making it 2 tries in 2 minutes for the visitors.

After being held up only moments before, Locke attacked a kick from the Panthers and shot straight through the other side of would be defenders to score a runaway try on the stroke of halftime giving the Warriors an impressive 16-0 lead at half time after scoring all their points in a 15 minute period.

Early into the 2nd half it looked like Jennings would score a length of the field try only for Locke to chase him down and pull of a try saver. It only served to delay the inevitable though as a couple of plays later the home side went in to score their opening try of the match.

The Warriors looked certain to hit straight back by replying with a try only for Manu to put a foot into touch and be denied a 4 pointed. Penrith then took full advantage of receiving the ball and went the length of the field once again to score bringing them back to within 6 points in the process.

With 10 minutes to go James Maloney pulled off a brilliant 40/20 and from the next set the away side were awarded a penatly in front of the posts. Maloney took care of business and pushed the lead outside a converted try.

As the clock was winding down and Penrith bravely defending their line, a pinpoint kick from Johnson out to Manu all but sealed the deal.


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