Back-up five-eighth Mason Lino says the Warriors will ride a wave of confidence into Friday's NRL clash against Canberra and on into the playoffs following their impressive win over Penrith.

The 24-year-old was superb filling in for injured No 6 Blake Green (calf strain) against the Panthers, scoring a try and combining well with halfback Shaun Johnson throughout the 36-16 win that confirmed the Warriors will feature in the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Lino admitted he felt nervous in the lead-up to the biggest game of his career and just his seventh appearance of the season so far but credited the side's senior playmakers for simplifying his role.

"I was a little bit [nervous]," said Lino. "Obviously with Greeny out there was some pretty big shoes to fill but I was lucky enough to have a pretty good support crew with Shauny and Rog (Tuivasa-Sheck) and Bully (Issac Luke) there.

"There's a wealth of experience there and that made my job easier. I've still got a lot to work on but am really pleased with the win."


The 24-year-old settled in to the match comfortably and the Warriors attack clicked into gear with him stationed wide of the ruck at first receiver in the lead-up to David Fusitu'a first try.

He then handled twice and beat a handful of defenders on his way to scoring their third try and early in the second-half reclaimed possession from his own attacking kick which led to Fusitu'a's second four-pointer.

Lino was pleased with his own performance but again deflected praise to the side's forwards and the attacking abilities of Johnson and Tuivasa-Sheck.

"That's what I wanted to do, get an early carry in there and see if I can just ease myself into the game," he said.

"We planned the whole week to start fast and we got lucky with a few early points. But our big boys laid the platform for us and allowed Shauny and Rog to get their running game going so that definitely helped us."

Coach Stephen Kearney praised Lino's selfless attitude and ability to step up again after spending the past month playing in reserve grade.

"I made mention to him that he needed to keep focused because I had no doubt that he was going to play a part [again] in how we go and where we finish," said Kearney.

"Tonight was the opportunity and that's what he's done for us. [When] he's [been] required to get the job done for us he's done a good job."

Green is racing to be fit to return for the final round home game against the Raiders and with the Warriors place in the top eight already confirmed Kearney may be tempted to give him another week off to ensure he is right for week one of the finals.


Lino believes the side can only grow in confidence and is ready to play his part again regardless of whether his services will be required against Canberra.

"It's a massive confidence boost," he said. "We know we've qualified for the finals now but again we're not looking past next week.

"I'm really excited even if I'm not playing. But just to be within the group and [to be able to] maybe help them a little bit.

"The Raiders are a good team and they will want to finish well but we also want to set a good platform heading into the finals. We'll enjoy his win and then come next week we'll be focused on the Raiders."