The Penrith Panthers have run away with the 2013 NYC Premiership, after holding out the New Zealand Warriors 42-30 at ANZ Stadium.
The Panthers got out to a strong lead in the first half, piling on 22 points to 6 before the break. This scoreline was despite the fact that halfback Daniel Foster left the field after only 15 minutes with a suspected fractured ankle.
First half injuries to Hukatai and Havili left the Warriors' bench low on bodies. The Warriors saw more injuries in the second half, with Faitala-Mariner having his arm wrenched back, however he was able to play on.
The second half started all Warriors, as they fought their way back into the game, getting to within ten points with 15 minutes to go. Panther's fans' hearts were set aflutter with 12 minutes remaining, when their fullback was sin binned for a professional foul.
However, the Panthers were next to score, and managed to put on another try and a penalty goal in the next 10 minutes, giving them the victory and premiership.
For the Panthers, Cartwright was involved in everything, both good and bad, and James Roberts was near unstoppable down the right wing. Faitala-Mariner was great for the Warriors, breaking tackles, but wasn't able to lift his team to get the win.
Penrith Panthers 42 New Zealand Warriors 30
Venue: Stadium Australia
Halftime Score: Penrith Panthers 22-6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Dallin Watene Zelezniak
2 points - Kierran Moseley
1 point - Bryce Cartwright
PENRITH PANTHERS (42)
Tries: James Taylor, James Roberts, Kieren Moss, George Jennings, Brendan Attwood, Mitchell Clark, Waqa Blake
Conversions: Bryce Cartwright (6/7)
Penalty Goals: Bryce Cartwright (1/1)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (30)
Tries: Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Albert Vete, Eko Malu, Metia Lisati, Vili Lolohea
Conversions: Mason Lino (5/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Interchange: 14. Mitch Clark 15. Tekina Vailea 16. Iain Riccardi 17. Isaah Yeo 18. Geordie Connelly
New Zealand Warriors: 1. David Fusitua 2. Metia Lisati 3. Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard 4. Ngataua Hukatai 5. Viliami Lolohea 6. Tuimoala Lolohea 7. Mason Lino 8. Albert Vete 9. Siliva Havili 10. James Taylor 11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 12. Michael Sio 13. David Bhana (c)
Interchange: 14. Eko Malu 15. Sam Lisone 16. Kouma Samson 17. Solomone Kata
Scored by James Taylor. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
And from the scrum the the Panthers are away downfield, with James Roberts sprinting down the short side. He takes the ball, gets outside his defender and sprints down field - with too much pace for anyone to catch him. Bryce Cartwright lines up the kick from straight in front, and adds the extras.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
Scored by Raymond Faitala-Mariner. Conversion attempt by Mason Lino successful.
And on the next play the Warriors have scored - Faitala-Mariner crashes over the line, much too strong for the defenders. Lino has the kick from wide right of the posts, and it hits the post and goes over. We're all tied up.
Scored by James Roberts. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
Two sets later, James Roberts scores another try. Some slick broken field running by the Panthers' speedy outside backs sees the Panthers move 70m down field in one play, finishing with James Roberts somersaulting over the line on the left of field. Cartwright falls over kicking the goal, but still converts the try.
Penrith Panthers 12-6
Scored by Kieren Moss. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
On the next set it's another line break and try from the Panthers! George Jennings uses his strength and speed and makes a massive run down field, before finding the fullback Kieren Moss, who crosses to score. Cartwright lines up the kick from straight in front, and makes no mistake. The Panthers extend their lead.
Penrith Panthers 18-6
Scored by George Jennings. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright unsuccessful.
Another try to the Panthers now - George Jennings on the end of some beautiful play. A brilliant flat pass from Dunley cuts out his centre, and hits Jennings on the chest. He crashes over the line in the corner, and sets Cartwright a difficult task for the kick. Cartwright pushes the kick wide.
Penrith Panthers 22-6
Scored by Brendan Attwood. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
Panthers take first points in the second half through Brendan Attwood. Cartwright added the additional two points.
Penrith Panthers 28-6
Scored by Mitchell Clark. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
Not 3 plays later, Mitchell Clark muscles his way over the tryline under the posts, and the Panthers further extend their lead. This game is turning into a blowout. Cartwright puts the ball straight over the black dot.
Penrith Panthers 34-6
Scored by Albert Vete. Conversion attempt by Mason Lino successful.
The Warriors hit back with a try now - Vete running at a much smaller defender from only a few metres out - pretty difficult to stop. Lino lines up the kick from just left of the posts, and adds an extra 2 points.
Penrith Panthers 34-12
Scored by Eko Malu. Conversion attempt by Mason Lino successful.
But in the next set the Warriors score. Malu takes the ball from dummy half and crashes over the line. Lino converts the try.
Penrith Panthers 34-18
Scored by Metia Lisati. Conversion attempt by Mason Lino successful.
The Warriors look to have scored here. We're going to the Video Referee - Lisati dives over the line after a brilliant offload from his inside man. Lino lines up for the conversion from the right side of the field, and kicks the goal.
Penrith Panthers 34-24
Scored by Vili Lolohea. Conversion attempt by Mason Lino successful.
A 20m cut out ball from Tuimoala Lolohea hits Vili Lolohea on the chest on the sideline. He runs the 5 metres in open space, and dots down in the corner. The referees go to the video referee, but the try is awarded. Lino attempts the kick from the left Sideline, and it's perfect - right over the middle of the posts.
Penrith Panthers 34-30
Scored by Waqa Blake. Conversion attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
The Panthers send the ball left where they have the overlap, and Waqa Blake uses his speed and power to cut back inside and score a try. That may just be enough to put the Warriors to bed. Cartright converts, and we're back to a ten point gap.
Penrith Panthers 40-30
Penalty goal attempt by Bryce Cartwright successful.
Penalty to the Panthers for a strip, and they'll take the penalty goal from 10 metres out and just left of the posts.
Penrith Panthers 42-30