The Warriors were left to rue costly fundamental errors but coach Stephen Kearney says his side can learn from last night's NRL season-ending 27-12 elimination final defeat to Penrith in Sydney.

Kearney was frustrated after his side let themselves down with basic mistakes and penalties allowing the Panthers to put the pedal down to score 25 unanswered points.

The Warriors led 12-2 but an error from a poorly timed offload by senior Warriors forward Adam Blair changed the momentum and three tries gave Penrith an 18-12 halftime lead.

Panthers captain James Maloney and halves partner Nathan Cleary took control as the Warriors imploded with off-contract hooker Issac Luke booting a restart into touch on the full and left centre Solomone Kata also penalised for a sloppy play the ball.


Kata's woes continued after halftime, while halfback Shaun Johnson conceded a late penalty after his short drop-out failed to go 10 metres, with Cleary booting his fifth goal of the night.

"It was frustrating but that's finals footy, isn't it? There was the offload but there were a few like that throughout the game with Sol's two and others," said Kearney.

"There's pressure on every play and we didn't execute well enough and basic errors in terms of playing the ball and keeping the ball in not kicking it out.

"So that's the lesson for this group is that there's a lot more at stake when it's like that.
"There were definitely some learnings there for some of our guys that hadn't played finals footy."

The Warriors hopes of a fightback were ultimately squashed when captain and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck suffered a suspected medial ligament strain and had to be carried off 12 minutes before halftime. Penrith were quick to capitalise with right centre Tyrone Peachey diving in for his second try.

"At this stage, it looks like a medial but we'll need to get some scans first thing Monday," said Kearney.

"When Rog came off, there was a bit of a lull in our energy, so that didn't help but we were still in the contest but just didn't find any momentum in that second half. Losing a player the quality of Rog obviously has a bit of an impact."

Second-rower Tohu Harris praised Penrith's playmakers and admitted the Warriors high error rate and lapses in concentration were unacceptable for any team with title aspirations.


"Their halves kicked really well and had us coming out of our own end a lot of the time and holding us down with their defence, so they did a good job of turning momentum and we made some fundamental errors that didn't help," said Harris.

"When you play quality sides in big matches you can't come up with those sorts of errors and expect it to just happen for you on the field. You've got to withstand those momentum changes and work hard to get out of it."

The 2017 Melbourne Storm premiership winner insists the Warriors' less experienced players would benefit from their first taste of finals football and admitted the Panthers had taught them a lesson about how to handle big games.

"There's a lot of guys disappointed but looking at the positive side there's a lot to learn from this game. The Panthers showed us a lot of what we can learn and what finals footy is about.

"We got a lead early and they clawed their way back, they changed the momentum and they held on to it. They were relentless with it and you see good sides do that in finals footy and it's something that we definitely can learn from."