New Zealand Warriors vs Penrith Panthers: NRL live scores, blog, highlights

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    Warriors vs Panthers

    NRL, 14 July, 2017

    Mt Smart Stadium
    Fulltime - Warriors 22, Panthers 34
    Warriors   Panthers
    22 FINAL SCORE 34
    4 TRIES 6
    Referee: Gavin Reynolds
    Touch judges: Nick Beashel & Chris McMillan
    Video Referee: Luke Patten

    It could be one of the most unpredictable games of the season when the New Zealand Warriors meet the Penrith Panthers with a must-win situation presenting itself for both clubs. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6pm (AEST).

    There is simply no telling what may happen in this one. It could be the best game of the season with plenty of points, or it could be the worst with errors, bad defence and poor attacking structures.

    Unfortunately, it’s inconsistency that has been the key word when you think of their respective seasons. Despite that, they both sit just outside the top eight, but a loss here makes things incredibly difficult.

    Sitting on 18 competition points, there are only seven games remaining after this one. With it starting to look more and more like the mark to quality for the finals will be 30 points, a loss leaves the loser needing to win potentially six of their final seven.

    Even for the winner, things won’t be straightforward – five from seven with the noted inconsistency woes is a seriously tough challenge.

    The Panthers season has been disappointing, so say the least. It appeared with the return of Josh Mansour, they had finally turned a corner though, winning a few on the trot and getting themselves inside the top eight for a brief period.

    It didn’t last for long though. Despite the fact they beat Manly last week, it was controversial and their level of play has dropped following a tough loss to the Cowboys and a belting at the hands of the struggling South Sydney Rabbitohs.

    There have been rumours circulating in the days leading up to the game that half Matt Moylan is out, which would be a huge blow for the Panthers.

    In other team news, James Fisher-Harris is back, with Sitaleki Akauola out. The Warriors have also made sweeping changes, with Solomone Kata and Isaac Luke back into the side.

    The Warriors have plenty to play for tonight, with the night being dedicated to the career of Manu Vatuvei. The 226-game veteran has been handed an immediate release to Salford in England, and will not play this game.

    New Zealand, like Penrith have struggled for any consistency in 2017. It’s enough to make any fan want to rip their hair out, with the ridiculously talented spine of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson, Kieran Foran and Isaac Luke struggling to win consistently.

    Leading into the bye last week, the Warriors had beaten the Bulldogs in one of the worst games of the season, before slumping to defeat at the hands of Manly.

    I’ve got no confidence in this and even less now Moylan is potentially out, but I’ll stick to my gut feeling – and that is it’s impossible to tip the Warriors.

    Expect plenty of points in this one.

    Panthers by 6.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live scores and coverage of this Round 19 match from 6pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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