Panthers in with finals chance after beating the Warriors

PENRITH kept its finals aspirations alive with a come-from-behind 28-24 victory against the Warriors in Auckland yesterday.

Coming into the match on the back of four consecutive losses, the Panthers looked to be headed for a fifth after tries to Thomas Lueluai and Elijah Taylor saw the home side jump out to a 12-0 lead inside 10 minutes.

But the rest of the half was all Penrith - the visitors enjoying 59% of possession including 16 of the last 19 sets.

That weight of possession took its toll as they scored through Josh Mansour and a double to David Simmons, who took his tally to 19 in 22 games this season.

The Panthers went further ahead midway through the second half when Mansour pounced on a Lachlan Coote kick just inches inside the in-goal, getting fingertip pressure on the ball while flying horizontal through the air a metre off the ground for his second four-pointer.

The home side was given a lifeline when Suaia Matagi rumbled over for the first try of his NRL career, but Sika Manu then finished off a brilliant break started by Isaac John close to his own line to ensure a Penrith win.

Both teams are now two points outside the top eight with three rounds remaining.

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