Friday 14th July at Mount Smart Stadium
Penrith 36: Tries: Cleary (3), Blake (1), Harawira-Neara (1), May (1); Goals: Cleary (5) | New Zealand Warriors 22
The Warriors opened within the first two minutes to lead 6-0.
The Panthers response came in the 12th minute when Corey Harawira-Neara won the race to the ball from a Nathan Cleary grubber at close range, with Cleary’s conversion tying it up at 6-all.
Whilst the home team regained the lead through another converted try, Penrith once again countered that minutes later when debutant Tyrone May was the beneficiary of a Trent Merrin offload who planted the ball adjacent to the left upright.
When Cleary decided to run at the line on the fourth tackle and crossed over, the Panthers held an 18-12 lead at half time.
Harawira-Neara’s ten minute sin binning soon after the resumption proved costly for the visitors with the Warriors scoring two unanswered tries and by the time of his return they led 22-18.
With 14 minutes remaining, Dylan Edwards broke the line at the halfway and found Cleary in support who crossed under the posts to lock it up, with his extras seeing the Panthers regaining the lead.
Six minutes later Cleary crossed for his hat trick when he once again ran at the line, busted through a feeble defensive line and streaked away, with his fifth conversion giving him a 22 point haul.
Holding an eight point lead in the dying minutes, Penrith iced the contest when Cleary hoisted up a bomb on the fifth tackle and Waqa Blake was the beneficiary, and sidestepped the stationary defence.