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Second-string Warriors upset Penrith Panthers


A makeshift NZ Warriors side has defeated premiers the Penrith Panthers against the odds in the NRL's Magic Round in Brisbane.


The sometimes scrappy 22-20 victory was a huge win in the season for the Warriors after an injury list which was long and featured many star players.


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Wayde Egan can now be added to the injured list after failing a HIA in the 12th minute.


Twice the Warriors had to come from behind to win, their first in six games at Suncorp Stadium and first win over the Panthers in their past nine attempts.


The Warriors were looking down the barrel of five straight defats as they trailed by four with 10 to play, backup fullback Taine Tuaupiki scored and converted to give his side a two-point lead, before the against-all-odds victory was confirmed when Dylan Edwards pushed a late penalty goal wide. 


The Warriors made the worst start possible by kicking out on the full and giving up a try to Edwards before they'd even touched the ball and it only got worse when Egan was ruled out a short time later. 


A makeshift Warriors side has defeated the Penrith Panthers
A huge win for the Warriors NRL season with success over the reigning premier Penrith Panthers. PHOTO: NRL

When they managed to score and even things up midway through the first half it had a negative attached to it, with Marcelo Montoya picking up a head knock as he crossed, although he was later cleared to return.


With the Panthers up by six at the break, the sin-binning of Isaah Yeo three minutes into the second half for a professional foul was the first turning point and on the very next set Ali Leiataua crossed for his first try at NRL level, which Tuaupiki converted to tie scores again. 


After a quiet first half Te Maire Martin was at it again a short time later, laying on his second assist in five minutes to put Adam Pompey over and give his side the lead for the first time. 


Once back to their full complement the Panthers seemed to find their mojo, with Yeo strolling through a yawning gap before Izack Tago made the Warriors pay for a glut of penalties and six again infringements.


But the Warriors weren't to be beaten on this day, with Tuaupiki's late six points giving the club their first win in six games. 


NZ Warriors 22 (Marcelo Montoya, Ali Leiataua, Adam Pompey, Taine Tuaupiki tries; Taine Tuaupiki 3 con) Penrith Panthers 20 (Dylan Edwards, Jarome Luai, Isaah Yeo, Izack Tago tries; Dylan Edwards 2 con). HT: 4-10

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