Warriors happy Panthers pushed in NRL

Penrith's 90-minute exertions in the NRL have been met with optimism by the Warriors ahead of Friday's round-four clash at Campbelltown Stadium.

ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK
ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK Picture: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Warriors utility Karl Lawton believes his team will have an edge heading into Friday's NRL clash against Penrith at Campbelltown Stadium.

The Panthers couldn't be separated against Newcastle as the teams battled themselves to a 14-all draw across 90 minutes last Sunday.

Having defeated St George Illawarra 18-0 in a near-perfect display the day before in Gosford, the Warriors will head into Friday's match with an extra day's rest and a spring in their step.

It's something Lawton expects his team to use to their advantage.

"It definitely does help us," Lawton said.

"They've played an extra couple of minutes ... It'll be interesting to see how they turn up on Friday night."

After witnessing the fatiguing effects of the NRL's six-again rule in last weekend's action, Lawton is tipping Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to be a nightmare for tiring Panthers players late in the game.

The fullback didn't trouble the scorers against the Dragons but he picked up a game-high 285 running metres and made six tackle breaks.

"When the middle's making big tackles and big numbers, back end of the game, 60th minute, 70th minute, you've got to crack eventually," Lawton said.

"That's when he (Tuivasa-Sheck) chimes in and using his speed and footwork, just tears them to bits.

"It'll work in his favour definitely ... he's always there so you've just got to give him the ball."

Having come off the bench to replace Peta Hiku in the centres after Hiku went down injured in the win over the Dragons, Lawton is in line to make just his second start in the position in the NRL.

His only other start in the centres was his NRL debut for Gold Coast in round 17, 2016 against the Warriors when his afternoon came to a premature end due to a horror leg break and ankle dislocation.

"That was a disastrous way to finish a game but that was my first and probably second-last game at centre I've ever played," Lawton said, adding the Dragons match was a more pleasant memory of the position.

"It was a better outcome than that this time."


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