AAP Rugby

Warriors heap more NRL misery on Panthers

By AAP Newswire

Stick a fork in Penrith, they're done.

The Panthers' disastrous season is all but over after ten games following another limp display in their 30-10 defeat to the Warriors.

Their sixth straight loss leaves the embattled NRL club in their worst stretch of form since dropping nine in a row between 2001-02.

No side has made the finals after opening the season 2-8 and, for the second week in a row, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary had no answers for their efforts.

"It's there for all to see where we're at at the moment. Beaten in most areas throughout the game. It's where it's at," Cleary said.

"Confidence is rock-bottom - that was obvious tonight."

It was a comprehensive display from a Warriors side that were dangerous for most of Friday night behind a reborn Kodi Nikorima and Issac Luke.

It was the first time this year Stephen Kearney's men recorded back-to-back victories, and now they are within sight of the top eight.

"It coincides (with having) a bit of consistency in our key positions," he said.

"(Blake) Green's been back the last couple of weeks, and the hooker's been pretty consistent, whether it was Karl (Lawton), Nathaniel (Roache) or 'Bully' (Issac Luke), and obviously Kodi (Nikorima has) come on board. That's helped."

The Warriors took full advantage of a confidence-sapped Panthers outfit, who already lead the league in missed tackles, and dropped off 44 more at home.

James Maloney and Viliame Kikau were the biggest culprits with seven and eight respectively in a side where every player missed at least one.

Penrith weren't much better with the ball either, with the league's worst attack bombing a two-on-none opportunity midway through the first half.

At one stage, Dylan Edwards and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak collided fielding a routine bomb that could've resulted in serious injury.

Star halfback Nathan Cleary also failed to spark an attack that couldn't cross the stripe until the 71st minute.

If he and Maloney hadn't lost their NSW State of Origin jumpers before this weekend, then the Panthers' latest flop may have been the final nail in the coffin.

The inept performance even prompted some boos from the 10,084 at Panthers Stadium at fulltime.

The signs were ominous from the kickoff, when the home side failed to score despite having six straight sets on the Warriors line.

And when the visitors finally had the ball, Issac Luke strolled over from close range and then Patrick Herbert doubled the lead not long after.

Back-to-back penalty goals either side of halftime kept Penrith at arm's distance before Nikorima put the result beyond doubt with an individual try.

Liam Martin and Kikau picked up consolation points, while the Warriors' Agnatius Paasi also barged his way over from close range late.