Warriors coach Stephen Kearney remains confident his side can recover after last night's humiliating 36-4 NRL defeat to the Panthers in Sydney last night.

Penrith were without their New South Wales State of Origin stars Nathan Cleary, James Maloney and Tyrone Peachey, but rookie halfback Jarome Luai stepped up to score two tries to steer the home side to victory at Panthers Stadium.

Doubters have been predicting the Warriors decline all season but Kearney denied being worried after his side fell to consecutive losses for the first time following last week's agonising defeat to Cronulla.

"No, it's round 17 and it's the first time we've done it," said Kearney.


"And in regards to our last three performances and the way we've prepared, you don't lose that in a week.

"I'm not saying I'm happy with that. We have to take ownership of the performance and where we need to be better, everyone needs to improve, and go from there.

"People have been waiting for us to collapse all year but our focus is on the Broncos and on preparing well to take our best performance to Suncorp Stadium next weekend.

"What everyone says outside our group we're not too fussed about. We know we weren't good tonight, we know what we've got to do to improve and get better and we'll go about doing that."

The result will see the Warriors drop from fifth on the premiership ladder to at least seventh by the end of the round, and they face a difficult challenge to reclaim a place in the top four ahead of a tough run of games against top eight sides Brisbane, Melbourne and St George Illawarra.

Kearney denied his side had underestimated the opposition, nor the abilities of 21-year-old Samoan international and former Junior Kiwis captain Luai, who starred in just his second NRL match.

"Not at all. We prepared for their best performance regardless of who they had in their side," he said.

"They came off a couple of losses so we knew what we were up for, we just didn't respond when we needed to tonight.


"We had a fair bit of tape on [Luai] this week but we just didn't respond. He had some pretty good help, he was playing off the back of some really good momentum, but we had enough information on him.

"We had 1100 meters and they had 1900. They had a lot of the field position and forward momentum and that's what ends up happening."

The Warriors began positively but failed to capitalise on early attacking chances before the game swung in the second-quarter with six straight penalties helping the Panthers post two tries for a 12-0 halftime lead.

They missed further chances to claw their way back after the resumption and the Panthers sealed the result with four more tries, before Warriors left wing Ken Maumalo scored a consolation four-pointer at the death.

"We had a couple of passes forward and there was a dropped ball too down our right short side. Little things like that didn't go our way, but still, that's where we need to be better and tough it out.

"Being 12 points down at halftime, I thought we could get ourselves back into it. But the second-half we started much like the back end of the first half and I'm disappointed we let it blow out like we did."