NRL: Locke double sparks Warriors victory

NZ Warriors 26
Penrith Panthers 18

Kevin Locke of the Warriors makes a break. Photo / Getty Images
Kevin Locke of the Warriors makes a break. Photo / Getty Images

Two opportunist tries from winger Kevin Locke today helped the New Zealand Warriors to a 26-18 win over Penrith in Auckland today.

Both came from opposition errors with Locke the first to the loose ball and taking full toll.

Defeat for the struggling Panthers came at the end of a disruptive week, after club management said they would not be reappointing coach Matthew Elliott at the end of the season.

For the Warriors, the result was their fourth win in five matches and backed up an impressive victory away to Melbourne last Monday night.

Again they showed plenty of resilience on defence in a match that had its share of mistakes.

At one stage in the second half, the Panthers' completion rate was down to about 50 percent.

Both teams were also guilty of lack of communication in conceding possession by allowing an opposition restart to bounce out.

The Warriors struck early when Penrith fullback Michael Gordon and winger David Simmons between them failed to tidy up a James Maloney kick to the in-goal.

Locke took advantage to dive on the loose ball and dot down.

The Panthers levelled midway through the first half in slightly controversial circumstances.

Centre Michael Jennings ran behind a couple of his team-mates in the lead-up to a try to prop Tim Grant.

Depsite complaints from Warriors, referee Jared Maxell said he was satisfied the defence hadn't been disadvantaged.

Gordon's conversion tied the scores at 6-6.

The Panthers looked to have a great chance to pull ahead at the start of the second half, when they won possession after the Warriors made a mistake by failing to prevent a kickoff going into a touch.

But with his side hot on attack, halfback Luke Walsh threw a cut out pass that went to ground and Locke was again on hand to pounce and gallop 80m to the try line.

James Maloney converted with the best of his five goals of the afternoon, a strike from wide out that bent the ball the "wrong" way and through the posts.

The Warriors went further ahead when halfback Brett Seymour, who had twice before failed to connect with winger Krisnan Inu with a kick, made it third time lucky.

Inu pulled in the ball for his fifth try of the season.

Seymour's boot also set up the next try, with his nudge into the in-goal snapped up by fullback Lance Hohaia.

In the last six minutes, backrower Trent Waterhouse and former Junior Warrior Nafe Seluini grabbed consolation tries for Penrith.

New Zealand Warriors 26 (Kevin Locke 2, Krisnan Inu, Lance Hohaia tries; James Maloney 5 goals) Penrith Panthers 18 (Tim Grant, Trent Waterhouse, Nafe Seluini tries; Michael Gordon 3 goals). Halftime: 6-6. Crowd: 11,412

- NZPA

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