The Warriors have produced their most complete performance in several weeks to get their finals campaign back on track, while Penrith's woeful first halves continued. This time there was no fightback as the Warriors triumphed 36-16.
The hosts came out humming, holding the ball for the entirety of the opening 9 minutes. After Johnson kicked a penalty goal in the third minute, the Warriors scored a try just 3 minutes later when Paasi picked up the ball from dummy half, dummied and then bulldozed his way over the line for a good try. Johnson converted.
In the 22nd minute, the Warriors swung the ball quickly to the right and caught the Panthers defence a man short and Fusitua dived over to score in the corner. Johnson failed to convert.
They scored again just five minutes later when Lino received an offload, spun out of a tackle by Campbell-Gillard and then made a beeline for the tryline to score near the posts. Johnson added the extras.
The Panthers finally got on the board within the last 3 minutes of the half when Blake grubbered on the last and the ball came off Hiku's feet. Mansour cleaned up and dived over to score a very lucky try in the left corner. Cleary failed to convert from the sideline.
The Warriors wasted no time to continue scoring in the second half. Just a minute after the restart, John son put up a kick and Kikau dropped it backwards. Blair scooped it off the deck to Luke who then sent the ball out to the right where Hiku drew the defence before sending Fusitua over for another try in the corner. Johnson nailed his sideline conversion.
15 minutes later the Warriors extended the lead further, when Johnson threw a dummy and then exploded through a gap, tried to run around the last defender before flinging the hope ball back inside where Fusitua cleaned it up and slammed it down for a try. Johnson was again unsuccessful with the sideline conversion.
Just after the hour mark, Johnson kicked a penalty goal and five minutes later, Kata shrugged off a tackle and dived over to score in the corner. Johnson converted.
Penrith scored a pair of consolation tries inside the final ten minutes. Merrin got a nice offload to Campbell-Gillard, who linked with May who sent it onto Blake who crashed over for a try on the edge. Cleary converted.
Three minutes later, Merrin took a crash ball and scored against the padding of the upright. Cleary again converted. But they couldn't keep the late run of tries coming.
The Warriors move on next week, hosting the Raiders at home in the same timeslot with a potential hope of confirming a top four spot. The Panthers are in Melbourne where they'll face a daunting task trying to take down the Storm on the same evening.