The second placed Panthers were embarrassed by a determined Warriors outfit on Sunday afternoon when they nearly dropped out of the top two after going down 6 – 12 to New Zealand at CUA Stadium.
The Warriors put an end to Penrith’s dominant four-match winning streak, the Panthers looking very flat in the face of New Zealand’s strength and resolve. New Zealand remained calm in the face of some poor calls by the ref, Penrith winning the penalty count 11 – 3, and were imposing in defence making 70 more tackles then their opposition.
New Zealand started as the long-priced underdogs at Ladbrokes.com.au repaying punters who jumped on their odds after their great recent form
With the win New Zealand have pushed their way into the sixth spot and have impressively made a real turn around over the last month having won their past four from four including their huge 35 – 6 victory over the Eels in Round 17.
It was a gritty, low-scoring match and the Warriors were first to open their account in the ninth minute when they were awarded a penalty. James Maloney, who went on to score eight of New Zealand’s 12 points, took the shot at goal booting it through the posts to give New Zealand their first two points.
Just six minutes later Maloney then got over the line in the 15th minute for the Warriors’ first try. One of the best with the boot in the NRL, Maloney converted his own try to give the visitors a nice eight point lead.
New Zealand were unswerving when they backed up less than 10 minutes later, cult-like hero Manu Vatuvei scoring a four-pointer in the 23rd minute after being the sole chaser on a Isaac John kick. Maloney missed the conversion but the Warriors still had 12 points over a still scoreless Panthers.
Then two minutes from half-time boom fullback Lachlan Coote finally scored for Penrith, Michael Gordon converting to narrow the deficit to just six points heading into the break.
In an intense second half that was full of handling errors by both sides as the pressure built, surprisingly no more points were scored despite the Warriors and Panthers best efforts.
Ladbrokes.com.au had some really lucrative odds going on the small winning margin after the Panthers had beat New Zealand 40 – 12 when they met earlier in the season, proving that it pays to look at the more recent form of the teams when placing your footy bets.
Also the Warriors are starting to look really good for those finals betting markets open at Ladbrokes.com.au as they have strung together a number of brave wins without some of their top talent including Sam Rapira, Brent Tate, Jacob Lillyman, Kevin Locke and Brett Seymour, all injured. When these players start to return at the end of the season, New Zealand look really strong and could cause quite a few upsets.
The Warriors are starting to look really good for those finals betting markets open at Ladbrokes.com.au
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