Panthers and Warriors seal surprise wins

By Peter Thompson 9 August 2019 6
Panthers and Warriors seal surprise wins

Debutant Matt Burton and Nathan Cleary sparkled as Penrith Panthers secured a shock 26-20 NRL win over Cronulla Sharks and New Zealand Warriors upset Manly Sea Eagles on Friday.

Burton was given special dispensation to replace the suspended James Maloney and took full advantage of his opportunity at Panthers Stadium.

The playmaker, one of three teenage debutants for Penrith, set up the opening try of the match for Brent Naden with a clever kick and looked very much at home on the big stage, having started the season in the Under-20s.

Dylan Edwards scored a try in each half and influential halfback Cleary went over just before the break, also scoring a penalty and nailing all four conversion attempts.

Cronulla managed four tries of their own, but those scores from Wade Graham, Jack Williams, Josh Morris and Sosaia Feki were in vain as they slipped to ninth and Panthers moved two places above them.

Manly arrived at Mt Smart Stadium full of confidence with six wins in their past seven games, but they were beaten 24-16 by the Warriors. 

Ken Maumalo bagged a double, while Ligi Sao and Jazz Tevaga also crossed in a strong showing from Stephen Kearney's men.

Manly rallied from 18-0 down with 15 minutes to go, but they lost Adam Blair after Brad Parker suffered a knee injury on what proved to be a painful outing.

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Peter Thompson