The Warriors reserve grade side are down but not out after tonight's 36-20 Intrust Super Premiership qualifying final loss to Penrith in Sydney.
The Warriors played well in patches but could not contain Penrith's potent attack, with the Panthers enjoying a 20-8 lead at the break before dominating the second half of the seven-tries-to-four win at UOW Jubilee Oval.
The Ricky Henry-coached Warriors will look to keep their title hopes alive in week two of the ISP finals, when they face an impressive Newcastle side on Sunday.
The Warriors struggled in the hot conditions without the direction and kicking of captain and halfback Mason Lino, who together with wing Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad lined up for the club's NRL side in last night's clash against Wests Tigers at Leichardt Oval.
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The Panthers dominated the early stages, with tries to impressive centre Tony Satini and wing partner Maiko Sivo giving them a 10-0 lead, while the Warriors had only three sets in possession in the first 12 minutes.
The Warriors grew in confidence after centre Matt Allwood scored in the 16th minute, and a second four-pointer to five-eighth Sam Cook helped shorten the margin to two points early in the second quarter.
But the Panthers hit back with a third try to wing Christian Crichton and a penalty in the 39th minute put the Warriors under more pressure, before Satini scored his second right on halftime.
Penrith extended their lead soon after the resumption through centre Jed Cartwright, before Warriors centre Fetalaiga Pauga cut through the line to send fullback Zac Santo in to help reduce the margin to 24-14.
The last half hour saw Penrith seal the result with five-eighth Jarome Luai scoring a double, while Warriors front-rower Ligi Sao crossed for a consolation try right on fulltime.
Warriors 20 (Matt Allwood, Sam Cook, Zac Santo, Ligi Sao tries; Fetalaiga Pauga 2 cons)
Panthers 36 (Tony Satini 2, Maika Sivo, Christian Crichton, Jed Cartwright, Jarome Luai 2 tries; Darren Nicholls 4 cons)