Live updates: NRL 2020 - NZ Warriors v Penrith Panthers

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Final: NZ Warriors 12  Panthers 18

Penrith Panthers 18 (Naden, Koroisau, Edwards tries, Cleary 2con, 1pen) bt
NZ Warriors 12 (Tuivasa-Sheck, Herbert tries, Herbert 2con) 

Wrap - That was a gutsy performance form the Warriors, who won the last 43 minutes 12-2, but couldn't find that piece of magic to get them on level terms. 

Fulltime: Sorry folks .... had a few technical issues .... these things happen when you are working from home. The Warriors couldn't find the final play magic they were looking for as Edwards collects a Egan chip kick and runs the ball over the sideline to end the game.

76mins - Tevaga knocks the ball on looking for a quick play the ball .... scrum Panthers on the Warriors 40.

75mins - Eli Katoa down for the Warriors who have the ball on tackle two inside their own 30.

74mins - Oh man! The Warriors should have scored ... lovely backline play created by Hiku, who finds Pompey who's catch and pass is over the head of Jennings with the line open.

73mins - Seven-tackle set for the Warriors ... Koroisau's kick is too long.

72mins - Repeat set for the Panthers ... Hiku thinks he's taken the ball in the in-goal on he full but not acording to the ref ... that was close.

71mins - Penalty for the Panthers on halfway ..... Dylan Edwards has the ball stripped illegally by Papalii.

68mins - Warriors get themselves into an attcking position,  but Tevaga spills Harris' pass.

67mins - The Panthers think they have a try for Kikau, but there was an obstruction in the build up.

66mins - Repeat set for the Panthers. May's grubber is well defended by Papalii who knocks the ball dead.

65mins - Hiku scoots down the blindside but Crichton reads it and intercepts .... a tackle later the Panthers win a penalty.

63mins - Scrum for the Warriors on halfway .... Cleary's kick is deflected and Naden knocks the ball on trying to collect it.

61mins - Penalty goal Panthers: Nathan Cleary makes no mistake. PEN 18-12

60mins - RTS knocks the ball on from a bomb and Blair collects the ball in an offside position. Cleary will take a shot at two. 

58mins - Try Warriors: Patrick Herbert - Great set-piece try. Nikorima to Hiku who draws in two and puts Herbert away to score in the corner. Herbert converts his own try from the sideline. PEN 16-12

57mins - The Warriors will have a scrum 5m out after Cleary knocks the ball on trying to scoop up a Nikorima grubber.

56mins - Tackle reset for the Warriors inside the Panthers half.

55mins - Cleary bombs on the last and Jennings is under it but he's taken out by Martin in a blatant early tackle .... that was stupid play from the Panthers second-row forward. Just dumb.

53mins - Great defence Warriors .... Luai kicks on the last and Hiku scoops up and bolts 30m up field.

51mins - This Panthers side is so clinical ..... Cleary kicks on tackle four and RTS bats it dead. 

49mins - Dropout for the Warriors ..... RTS knocks the ball over the dead ball line.

48mins - Tackle reset for the Panthers .... fresh set 20m out.

46mins - Panthers run on the last .... short ball from Cleary puts May in a gap cut Blair and Harris wrap him up to save the try.

45mins - Mistake from Alvaro .... ball comes loose in a three-man tackle.

44mins - Repeat set for the Warriors. Lawton's kick is a good one, but Cleary cleans up.

43mins - Penalty for the Warriors on halfway for hands in the ruck as the ball comes free from Herbert.

41mins - Panthers aim up big time on defence to open the half and will have the ball from decent field position.

Second-half: The Warriors will have the ball to begin the second spell.

Half-time: All Panthers in terms of possession and field position, but the Warriors hung tough and that try just before the break is probably a fair reflection of where the game is at. Warriors just six tackles inside the Penrith 20...the Panthers 60 inside the Warriors 20.

40mins - Try Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - The Warriors get some reward for a fine first half defensive play. Harris-Tevita on the last ..... with time up ... chip-bombs and RTS comes flying through, leaps high, collects and dives over to score. Herbert converts. PEN 16-6

38mins - Good set from the Warriors, but Nikorima's kick is poor and Edwards takes it unchallenged....but the Warriors will get an attacking set to end the half. Fisher-Harris coughs up the ball.

36mins - Try Panthers: Dylan Edwards - And the Panthers make them pay. Crichton sets Mansoor free down the left ... he kicks inside and Edwards chases through to dot down. That a shot in the guts for the Warriors after 10mins of fantastic defence. Cleary converts. PEN 16-0

35mins - Mistake from Papalii as the Warriors start to build off the back of a repeat set. Penrith back on attack.

33mins - Brilliant from the Warriors. Herbert's drop out is a punted strongly short at May who knocks the ball on.

32mins - Relentless from the Panthers. Cleary has the ball on a dime. They get another repeat set. Penrith completing at 100 percent with 70 percen of the ball.

31mins - Another repeat set ... Luai with a lovely kick this time. Warriors defending superbly but can they hold on?

29mins - Panthers have a repeat set as RTS knocks the ball over the dead ball line following a great grubber from Cleary.

25mins - Try Panthers: Api Koroisau - Warriors look threatning as Burr makes a buston the last, but he throws a speculator and it's intercepted by Crichton .... two tackles later and Koroisau darts from dummy-half and beats two poor tackle attempts to score under the posts. Converted. PEN 10-0

23mins - Great 4th tackle kick from Nkorima has the Warriors defending in great field position.

22mins - Nikorima sets the Warriors attack alight as he bursts through poor defence ... Papalii is brought down by Edwards. On the last, Nikorima kicks and it's off the post .... Harris-Tevita is chasing through, but knocks the ball forward attempting to score. 

21mins - Defence holds firm .... Cleary's kick is too long and the Warriors have a seven-tackle set.

20mins - Penalty against Nikorima for offside play. Fresh set Penrith 10m out.

19mins - Panthers rolling down field off the back of a great kick return from Edwards.

17mins - Warriors have a penalty .... Cleary bombs on the last .... RTS runs forward to claim it but he's taken out by the chaser.

14mins - On the last Harris-Tevita runs to the line and throws a low pass to Nikorima, who's tip on is ruled to have gone forward. That's two poor calls against the Warriors and we are 14mins in. 

13mins - Warriors finally get a set ... Cleary bombs on halfway but RTS is safe under it. Set restart on tackle four will help.

11mins - Try Panthers - Brent Naden: The pressure tells. Cleary runs to the line and see's Jennings has moved in ... throws a skip pass over his head and Naden goes in untouched. Cleary can't convert, PEN 4-0

10mins - Another set for the Panthers .... Edwards kicks, but Katoa collects and heads off up-field,  but the referee has called it back for offside. Debatable.

8mins - Fantastic defence from this Warriors line, but they'll have to defend another. Cleary's bomb is collected by RTS, but he's tackled into the in-goial. 8 sets plays 1 so far.

7mins - Luai kicks into RTS' legs but Nikorima knocks the ball on as the ball rebounds. Scrum Panthers.

6mins - Strong defensive set from the Warriors, but Cleary wins his side another set with a lovely stabbing grubber that Nikorima runs dead. 

4mins - Great set from the Panthers ... Cleary chip-bombs from the 10 on the last ..... Jennings takes it well but he's tackled in the in-goal. Line dropout. 

3mins - Nikorima bombs from the Panthers 40 but Edwards climbs high to take it ... RTS ruled offside on the chase.

1min - Pretty physical defensive set from the Warriors ... Cleary kicks from the 40 and it's collected safely by Jennings.

Kick-off - Patrick Herbert gets us underway so it'll be the Panthers with first use of the ball.


7:58pm - Looks to be wet and humid on the Central Coast tonight .... ball handling will be key.

7:56pm - Massive challenge awaits the Warriors. The Panthers are rolling, on an eight match win streak - the look very much a Grand Final side. 

7:48pm - No late changes to report for the Warrios .... 1-17 meaning Murchie, Beale, Keighran and Curran miss out.

Live updates: NRL 2020 - NZ Warriors v Penrith Panthers

Good evening rugby league fans and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the NZ Warriors round 14 clash against the Penrith Panthers. 

The Warriors are coming off the back of two excellent performances against the Wests Tigers and Manly Sea Eagles, winning back-to-back games for the first time this season.

But the Panthers are the hottest side in the competition, winning eight on the bounce and looking very much like a Grand Final prospect in 2020.

The Warriors will be without loan prop Jack Hetherington, who is suspended and with another couple weeks on the sideline coming up, it's likely the promising ball-runner has played his last game for the club.

A win will see the Panthers leapfrog the Melbourne Storm into top spot while the Warriors can go within a win of the top eight if they can cause a huge upset.

NZ TAB odds: Panthers $1.10, Warriors $6.00

Pre-match banter 

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck addresses teammates over reports he wants to leave the club for Super Rugby's Blues

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has told NZ Warriors teammates he isn't quitting the club to join Super Rugby's Blues.

Reports surfaced Wednesday that the club's skipper wasn't prepared to spend another year away from family, if the Warriors were forced to play the 2021 season out of Australia, as COVID-19 continues to cause havoc.

Several Australian outlets reported Tuivasa-Sheck, a high school rugby prodigy, had contacted the Blues to garner their interest, as he weighs up his options beyond this season.

The 27-year-old has a year to run on the contract he inked three years ago, when the Warriors fought off several suitors - including the Blues - for his signature. 

But teammate Tohu Harris has revealed Tuivasa-Sheck addressed the players, rubbishing media claims that he was swapping codes.

"Roger addressed it with the group to not believe everything you read in the papers," Harris says. "He’s fully focused on this year, but his family are still back in Auckland and I feel for him.

"It’s been really hard for him to be away from his family, but he’s still focusing day by day and bringing energy to the group.

"He wants everyone to be focusing on this week against the Panthers."

Harris hasn't escaped the headlines either, as he too is linked with a move from Mt Smart Stadium. 

The former Melbourne Storm forward is reportedly seeking a release from his contract, with several NRL clubs circling the talented ball-player.

Harris insists he hasn't even contemplated his future beyond this season and echoes Tuivasa-Sheck's stance on not believing everything you read.

"We seem to be running into something coming out every single week, so we’re dealing with the different things as they come. 

"People are hearing rumours about different things and rumours about us being in Australia again next year, and trying to put two and two together.

"We can’t put too much time into different theories or things like that, and we’ve got to make sure we’re focusing on what we can control and that’s how we perform over here.

"We’ve had a lot of different things pop up over the last month or so, and I think we’ve done a really good job as a playing group in getting past them and putting good performances on the field.

"I honestly don’t know where this has come from - I’m just focusing on this week."

On Friday night, the Warriors face a daunting challenge against table-topping Penrith Panthers, who hammered them 26-0 earlier in the season.

Penrith have eight consecutive wins, although they hit a Warriors side with back-to-back wins for the first time this season, albeit against struggling Wests Tigers and inconsistent Manly Sea Eagles. 

"They’re a quality side and that shows with their position on the ladder," Harris says of the Panthers.

"They’ve got a strong bench, strong forward pack and some pretty exciting backs, so it’s an exciting challenge for us.

"That’s how we’re seeing it. The team is excited to go out there and test the form team in the competition."

While a win would be a huge upset, the Warriors could find themselves on the verge of playoff contention by the end of the weekend.

Currently 13th with 10 points from 13 games, victory would propel the Warriors to within a win of the top eight.