Isaia Papali’i. Junior Warriors v Junior Roosters, Round 9 of the 2017 NYC Holden Cup Rugby League season at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 30 April 2017. Copyright photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz

Table-topping Penrith handed the Vodafone Junior Warriors a 16-38 loss at Pepper Stadium today but not before the visitors came back at them in the second half of this 10th-round NYC match.

When hooker and captain Wayde Egan exploded with a hat-trick inside the opening 13 minutes it had seemed a tough afternoon was in store for the Vodafone Junior Warriors.

Bu,t having conceded 16 points early, they steadied, allowing just one more try in the rest of the opening spell to limit the damage to 22 points at the break. They also had opportunities themselves only to be found wanting for execution.

A change in the tone of the match came in the second half, though, as second rower Joe Vuna scored a double down the left side, combining with Chanel Harris-Tavita both times.

At 10-22 the Vodafone Junior Warriors were right in the contest but, just when they needed another strike, two lapses in a matter of minutes allowed Penrith to extend to 32-10 (including Egan scoring his fourth try).

The Vodafone Junior Warriors weren't rattled by the setbacks.

With seven minutes left, big forward Tayhler Paora ran through a hole off an Eiden Ackland ball to score. Kane Telea's conversion had the margin back to 16-32.

There was no further reward, though, with the Panthers finishing the scoring through halfback Jarome Luai.

MATCH DETAILS

Pepper Stadium, Penrith

Penrith Panthers 38 (Wayde Egan 4, Reed Izzard, Stefano Hala, Jarome Luai tries; Dean Blore 5 conversions).

Vodafone Junior Warriors 16 (Joe Vuna 2, Tayhler Paora tries; Kane Telea 2 conversions) .

Halftime: 22-6 Panthers.

Vodafone Junior Warriors | Lee Turner; Lewis Soosemea, Melino Fineanganofo, Kane Telea, Elijah Sufia; Chanel Harris-Tavita, Paul Turner; Kenese Kenese (c), Eiden Ackland, Soane Hufanga; Isaiah Papali'i, Joe Vuna; Chris Sio (c). Interchange: Eiden Ackland, Troy Pulupaki, Tyler Slade, Tayhler Paora.