New Zealand Warriors vs Penrith Panthers: NRL live scores, blog
Scores updated each minute. REFRESH NOW
Warriors Vs. Penrith
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 19 August, 2012
|Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland|
|Penrith 18 defeated Warriors 16|
|Referee: G Badger|
|Touch judges: Henry Perenara & Jay Farlow|
The New Zealand Warriors host the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium. Join us for live scores and commentary from 12.00pm AEST.
Both teams have had a miserable 2012 and there will be little other than pride (and match payments) to play for when 13th (Warriors) takes on 15th (Panthers). There’s more chance of Julian Assange getting a ticker tape parade down George St than there is of either of these teams making the semis.
Penrith could argue they have been in a rebuilding phase this season, though when coach Ivan Cleary signed on from the Warriors, his and the Penrith board’s expectations would surely have been higher than 15th place.
This will be Cleary’s first game back in Auckland since he walked from the club and he will doubtless be out to prove a point. The question is whether he can get his team go with him.
As losing grand finalists in 2011, the Warriors have no such excuses. New coach Brian McLennan is already coming under pressure to justify his position but he appears safe to start the 2013 season in charge. Injuries have played a part but that is no different to any club at this stage of the season and some home truths will surely have to be spelt out over the summer months.
The Warriors have slumped to five straight losses after being in finals contention at the beginning of July. That a total of 97 points have been conceded in their last two outings is more than mildly disturbing. A sixth straight loss would equal the Warriors’ worst run since 2007, a year where they amazingly still made the semis under Cleary.
In team news, Manu Vatuvei again captains the Warriors in Simon Mannering’s absence (high ankle sprain). The enigmatic winger will be looking for his first win as skipper. Impressive youngster Carlos Tuimavave gets a start at fullback to cover for the equally impressive, but slightly older, youngster Kevin Locke. He is also out with a high ankle sprain.
Lewis Brown lines up in the centres for the Warriors against the team he will play for next year, while Elijah Taylor returns after missing last week’s drubbing at the hands of the Cowboys due to personal reasons. Meanwhile, Pita Godinet has been included on a five-man bench.
For the Panthers, looking for only their second win at Mt Smart since 2005, Travis Robinson comes in for his first run-on start replacing the suspended Michael Jennings. Leeds-bound Mitch Achurch will play at the expense of Ryan Simpkins off the interchange bench, while injury prone forward Danny Galea is a late withdrawal, giving Adam Docker his debut in the top grade.
Will Cleary have enough tools in his box to motivate his underperforming troops on the road or will the Warriors frustrate their fans once again and put on a rugby league clinic just when everyone had put a line through them?
Find out from 12.00pm AEST as we cover the action with live scores and commentary. If you’re watching or following along, feel free to leave a comment in the space below.