As it happened: Panthers down valiant Warriors 27-12 in NRL playoffs to end Kiwi club's season

Welcome to 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of this NRL finals encounter between the Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium.

(Tries Peachey 2, Maloney, Crichton; Cleary 2 pen, 3 con; Maloney fg) PEN 27-12 WARR (Tries Luke, Fusitua; Johnson 2 con)

80 mins: It's all over for the Warriors in 2018 and happy trails Simon Mannering. The Warriors were valiant in the second half but after taking a 12-2 lead they conceded 25 straight points and lost the second half 9-0. The Warriors will be better for this, they weren't overawed but couldn't match Penrith's control. Final score 27-12.

69 mins: PENALTY! Cleary has got his short kicking game on a string and pins the Warriors in-goal again. Johnson's drop out doesn't go 10 and Cleary kicks the goal. Penrith are home here, with 10 to go.

61 mins: FIELD GOAL!! Penrith are just doing a professional job on the Warriors here. Maloney kicks the point to extend the lead past two converted tries. The Warriors have made nearly 80 more tackles in the game and it's starting to tell as we head into the final 20.

54 mins: TRY!! Crichton goes over in the right corner for Penrith. The Warriors were gallant after Penrith forced three repeat sets in a row. Cleary converts.

48 mins: Cleary and Maloney controlling things here, force back-to-back-to-back sets and the Warriors are hanging on by a thread.

44 mins: Issac Luke has hit Maloney like a concrete mixer. The biggest hit of the year hands down. He knocks it on, and then the Warriors get a penalty. Is that a momentum turner, we'll see. The Warriors take it into Penrith territory. Another penalty for the Warriors.

41 mins: We're back into it, Luke kicks off to Penrith.

40 mins: It's halftime and the Warriors had a chance late but the Panthers hold on. 18-12 at the break.

36 mins: A strained ACL for Tuivasa-Sheck and he's done for the night, but no rupture. That's the good news. Can the Warriors find some character? There's been no grind in this one, just end-to-end action. The Warriors trying to get their off-load game going and Johnson finds touch on the Penrith 20.

31 mins: TRY!! Cleary puts Peachey over in the right corner and Kata is having a shocker. A mis-read after the earlier error  and the Warriors are on the rack here. Cleary misses the kick.

28 min: The Warriors are in a hole right now. Tuivasa-Sheck has done a knee and is being carried off. Very sad. Then Kata knocks on from dummy half and Penrith surge onto attack. Hiku to fullback, Beale to the centres. 

26 min: TRY!!! Katoa gets the Warriors out of dummy half, Mannering wasn't watching and misses the tackle and Maloney following down the middle goes in under the sticks. Penrith lead, and we've had 26 points in 26 minutes.

24 min: The Warriors are killing themselves here. Luke kicks the kick-off out on the full and Penrith surge onto attack again.  But they defuse the attack.

23 min: TRY!! Penrith kick a 40-20 and surge onto attack. Then a lovely grubber from Cleary and Tyrone Peachey has the Panthers first try. Cleary converts.

18 min: TRY!!! Try of the year and Fusitua is in! Johnson, Hiku, Harris, Fusitua! Off loads and down the right side, it's the NRL's most potent edge. Quick passing, then Hiku breaks, a great offload in the tackle to Johnson who finds Fusitua who dives one-handed in the corner. Johnson converts from the sideline.

14 min: Penrith attack the Warriors line but the Warriors defuse. Then they win a relieving penalty.

9 min: TRY!! Johnson grabs a loose ball and streaks away. He's in the clear and is going in for all money, but the ground gives way and he falls over. But the Warriors win a penalty and the Warriors turn down the penalty. Then Luke crashes over from dummy half. After an eternity, TMO says TRY!! Johnson converts.

4 min: A mistake from Parsi, he's tackled Maloney in the air after a kick , Penrith get a penalty and Cleary gives Penrith the lead.

3 min: The Warriors complete their first set with a bomb from Johnson and Penrith returns the football.

2 min: 39 seconds in and Gavet's down. He ran into Campbell-Gillard's shoulder and he's not well. But he gets up and plays the ball.

1 min: We're underway. Penrith kick-off to the Warriors.

7.40pm: Tuivasa-Sheck leads the Warriors out after a seven year absence.

7.37pm: Gearing up for kick-off, a big crowd and plenty of Kiwi support. Who can dominate the middle? That's the experts big questions tonight, Bluey McLennan, Brent Webb. In the dressing room, the Warriors are looking relaxed. Kick-off coming up.

7.30pm: Good evening everyone, what a night. A bit of rain at ANZ Stadium for tonight's clash, we're 10 minutes from kick-off. The Warriors are on the ground, they look calm, Johnson, Mannering looking calm.

Richie Barnett, on the preview show, says Johnson's got to run tonight. A big key.

PANTHERS 0 - 0 WARRIORS - 7.40pm NZT

PRE MATCH

After a seven year wait, the Warriors are back playing in September and among the eight teams competing for the NRL premiership.

Having finished eighth on the ladder, the Warriors travel to Sydney to face the fifth-placed Panthers in the elimination final at ANZ Stadium.

The two teams split their clashes this season with the Warriors securing a 36-16 win over Penrith at Mt Smart less than a month ago while an under-strength Panthers thrashed the Warriors 36-4 in round 17.

For the Warriors, Blake Green returns to the side after two weeks out, while both Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Simon Mannering have recovered from their injury concerns.

A loss would end Mannering's career, but a victory would send him back to NSW for at least one more week with the winner of tonight's clash to play either the Roosters or Cronulla next week.

TEAMS

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2. David Fusitu'a, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Blake Green, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. James Gavet, 9. Issac Luke, 10. Agnatius Paasi, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Simon Mannering.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Isaiah Papali'i, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Gerard Beale,

Panthers: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Waqa Blake, 4. Tyrone Peachey, 5. Christian Crichton, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Trent Merrin, 9. Sione Katoa, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Isaah Yeo, 13. James Fisher-Harris.

Interchange: 14. Tyrone May, 15. Moses Leota, 16. Corey Harawira-Naera, 17. James Tamou.


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'I just want to protect my family' - Sam Burgess hopeful NRL finalises investigation into sexting scandal soon

An emotional Sam Burgess thanked his wife, family and club for their support during the NRL's investigation into a sexting scandal, suggesting the truth will come out before South Sydney's preliminary final on Saturday.

Burgess addressed reporters on Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time about allegations lewd images were sent to a young woman from one of his social media accounts earlier this year.

The Englishman refused to discuss specifics, reiterating throughout the 12-minute press conference he is "happy for the truth to come out" but unable to comment publicly because the league's integrity unit is still probing the matter.

Burgess expects the NRL will finalise its investigation within 24-48 hours.

The 29-year-old possess some of the broadest shoulders in the league but it was clear on Tuesday the allegations, made public on the eve of the Rabbitohs' semi- final against St George Illawarra, have taken some toll.

Burgess struggled to speak at the start of Tuesday's interview then became deeply emotional when discussing his heavily-pregnant wife Phoebe.

"I just want to protect my family in this whole thing," Burgess said.

"I just want them to be safe and happy and with my current situation at home (photographers and TV cameras camped outside), there's no chance of that.

"I'm not angry. What hurts me the most is seeing my wife upset about what's out there.

"I've been in situations before, dealt with much harder things in my life ... and football has always been great for me.

"My poor family, they don't have the distraction I do. I will be fine come game time."

The league is in the final stages of its investigation.

Burgess could yet be suspended but Souths' talismanic forward, who won the Clive Churchill medal in their 2014 grand-final victory, is very much preparing to play the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.

"There's a lot of important things going on at the moment. I've got some serious football games in front of me, this process we're going through," he said.

"It's been a tough process to go through ... as someone said earlier, a bit of a circus.

"Fortunately I've got a strong wife.

"My teammates have been fantastic. We all have challenges at times. We get through them, we grow. It's brought us together.

"I'm grateful that two of my brothers are in the team ... I've got plenty of support around me."

Asked about the timing of the story about the incident in May, Burgess replied "you can make your own assumptions".

Burgess insisted he wasn't "running away and hiding from what's out there" but had to respect the integrity unit's process.

"I'm not going to put myself into a position that's going to get me into trouble," he said.

Burgess hopes the issue will be solved in the next two days. Source: 9 NEWS Sydney


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Young NRL star Nathan Cleary to sign big contract extension to stay with Panthers - report

NRL star Nathan Cleary is reportedly poised to sign a contract extension to stay with Penrith until at least the end of the 2023 season.

Clearly, who has previously said he would wait until November 1 to engage in contract discussions, will pen a new deal with the club in next 48 hours, reported NRL.com.

The four-year extension will reportedly make him the Panthers' highest paid player, and bump up his salary for the final season of his existing contract.

Panthers supremo Phil Gould hinted on Monday night that the 20-year-old halfback intended to commit his long-term future to the club sooner rather than later.

"It'll get done shortly," he told Nine's 100% Footy.

Off contract at the end of next season, Cleary has seemingly turned his back on fielding offers from rival NRL clubs who were unable to come negotiating table before November.

The NSW State of Origin series winner has spoken openly about his career ambition to one day play under his father, Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary.

The Panthers' season, sidetracked by the sacking of coach Anthony Griffin just four weeks out from the finals, came to an end with a one-point loss to Cronulla on Friday.

Cleary could have levelled the semi-final with a late field goal but his attempt sailed wide.

Nathan Cleary
Nathan Cleary Source: Getty


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Watch: Sam Burgess speaks about Rabbitohs' Auckland sexting scandal - 'I'm happy for the truth to come out'

South Sydney superstar Sam Burgess hopes the NRL's integrity unit will finalise its investigation into the sexting scandal, which has engulfed the club, within the next two days.

Burgess addressed reporters today, saying he's keen for the "truth to come out" about allegations lewd images were sent to a young woman from one of his social media accounts, after a match earlier this season.

"While the investigation is going on we've been told to publicly make no comment ... I'm following the process," Burgess said before Saturday's preliminary final against the Sydney Roosters.

"I'm not going into the detail of anything.

"I'm happy for the truth to come out.

"That's going to be my answer to the majority of your questions.

"Hopefully within 24 hours, 48 hours I think it should be resolved."

The saga has overshadowed the Rabbitohs' preparations for their grand final qualifier against their traditional rivals at Allianz Stadium.

Burgess thanked his friends and family for their recent support during a "tricky few days".

"It's been a tough process to go through, (for) the family together, but fortunately I've got a strong wife," he said.

"A wife who loves me. I've got great family, great friends, great support around me.

"You do feel it but I've had certain experiences in my life before, had serious emotions I've had to deal with, and football has always been great for me."

Burgess hopes the issue will be solved in the next two days. Source: 9 NEWS Sydney


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Broncos star treating match against Warriors as Kiwi Ferns trial - 'Everyone is in the running to get a black jersey'

They call her The Jukebox because when damaging Brisbane back-rower Teuila Fotu- Moala takes the field, the hits keep coming.

And the New Zealand star has vowed to be on song in Friday's NRL Women's Premiership final round clash with the Warriors in Melbourne, likening it to a Kiwi Ferns trial.

Fotu-Moala - player of the 2017 Women's World Cup - has been the key to a perfect season start for Brisbane who can seal a grand-final berth with a third straight victory.

But Fotu-Moala is also eyeing off October's Auckland Test against the Jillaroos and hopes to stake a claim by overcoming Warriors back-rower Onjeurlina Leiataua.

"It's almost like a Kiwi Ferns trial because everyone is pretty much in the running to get into that black jersey at the end of the season," she said of the October 13 Test.

"The biggest match-up for me would be Onjeurlina.

"She's explosive, strong, powerful and eats a lot of metres. She's one to watch out for."

Fotu-Moala is good mates with Leiataua and knows the bulk of the Warriors squad after they played together in the Auckland competition.

That won't earn them any favours on Friday at AAMI Park in the curtain raiser for the Melbourne-Cronulla NRL preliminary final.

"When we saw that we were playing the Warriors I knew I had to get more aggressive this week," Fotu-Moala said.

"I need to do what I can to match them because they will be coming for us, I know that.

"Maybe some of us will be targets for them.

"It's mixed feelings (playing mates). I have a soft spot for my friends - off the field, not on the field."

Teuila Fotu-Moala on attack. Kiwi Ferns v England, Women’s Rugby League World Cup Semi Final at Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney, Australia on 26 November 2017. Copyright Image: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz
Teuila Fotu-Moala on attack for the Kiwi Ferns against England. Source: Photosport


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