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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Penrith's James Maloney has done it again for his club side, a golden point field goal seeing the Panthers home 19-18 over the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium this afternoon.
In a match that ebbed and flowed with momentum and had plenty of controversy throughout, it was Penrith who outlasted a tired Warriors side when the match went into extra time, the NSW five-eighth booting the visitors home as the siren loomed at the end of the first period of golden point.
It had started well for the Warriors - Peta Hiku got the hosts on the board after six minutes, but as the clock reached the quarter-mark of the game, James Tamou ran straight and hard off a Maloney offload, scoring his side's first after Penrith had wrestled momentum back.
At 31 minutes, a penalty near the sticks to the Warriors saw Patrick Herbert level the scores after having missed the earlier conversion, and it would send the flow of the game back in the home side's favour.
Penrith's discipline was getting messy in the last ten minutes of the second half and Liam Martin copped the ire of Gerard Sutton after the Panthers were warned about repeat penalties - the first-season player sin-binned four minutes before the break.
The Warriors took full advantage of the extra man - Bunty Afoa drilled his way over next to the sticks and the 12-6 lead is one the home side took into the break.
Shortly after the break referee Gerard Sutton was seemingly left with no choice but to sin bin Jarome Luai and reduce the Panthers to eleven men when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was felled chasing a kick. Replays showed it to be a very harsh call - but again the Warriors were able to take advantage with David Fusitu'a getting it down acrobatically in the corner - despite replays AGAIN showing the decision to be incorrect with 'Fus' putting his hand on the grass as the ball was grounded.
With a full complement back on the field shortly after the 50 minute mark, Brent Naden got the Panthers back into it with a superb take, and the match stayed 16-12 in the home team's favour until the 77th minute.
Three minutes on the clock and Naden was over again after running nearly 60 metres - a conversion from Maloney putting Penrith ahead and seemingly winning them the game, until from the return kickoff the same man conceded an accidental offside penalty and Herbert stepped up to level scores inside the final minute.
The Warriors never looked threatening in golden point, getting in one charged-down field goal attempt - Blake Green the man - before the Panthers had a couple of stabs at it through Maloney, who kicked the winner after 85 minutes.
Next weekend the Warriors travel to Newcastle while Penrith enjoy the bye.
Warriors 18 - Penrith Panthers 19
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Halftime Score: Warriors 12 Penrith Panthers 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - James Fisher-Harris
2 points - Jazz Tevaga
1 points - James Maloney
Tries: Peta Hiku, Bunty Afoa, David Fusitua
Conversions: Patrick Herbert (1/3)
Penalty Goals: Patrick Herbert (2/2)
PENRITH PANTHERS (19)
Tries: James Tamou, Brent Naden (2)
Field Goals: James Maloney (1/2)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/3)