They had two options- give up or fire up.
A courageous Penrith Panthers chose the latter as they pounced on a gutsy 18-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
Trailing for the majority of the error-riddled game, the Panthers bagged a try courtesy of recent first grade debutant Travis Robinson just four minutes from full-time to seize the lead and grasp a victory.
With the Panthers in a tight battle to avoid the 2012 wooden spoon, their win puts them just one point behind the 14th placed Sydney Roosters and two points above the last-placed Parramatta Eels.
The Warriors opened the scoring when Panthers fullback Michael Gordon fumbled the ball following a James Maloney grubber to allow centre Ben Henry to race over and ground a try in the 5th minute.
Maloney missed the conversion and the Warriors led 4-0.
Intercepting a Gordon pass, halfback Shaun Johnson ran 85 metres down the field to score in the 23rd minute and a Maloney conversion gave the Warriors a 10-0 lead.
Penrith posted their first points of the match when fullback Lachlan Coote sent captain Kevin Kingston flying over underneath the posts in the 37th minute.
Sharpshooter Luke Walsh converted and the Panthers trailed 10-6 at half-time.
The Warriors wasted little time before scoring in the second half, with a Henry dummy pass helping him to find space and sprint over for his second try of the game in the 46th minute.
Maloney perfected the conversion and the Warriors led 16-6.
A rampant Coote fought his way out of a Maloney tackle to charge across for a try in the 60th minute and a Walsh conversion reduced the Panthers deficit to 16-12.
Desperate to snare a late lead, prop Sam McKendry unleashed an impressive break to propel the Panthers towards their try-line before Matt Robinson sent centre Travis Robinson storming over for a try in the 76th minute.
Walsh added the vital extras and the Panthers clawed an 18-16 lead.
While the Warriors were given one final play on the full-time hooter, the home side was unable to capitalise and the Panthers exited the field with their seventh victory of the season.
Penrith’s campaign to avoid finishing the season at the bottom of the ladder continues on Saturday, when they host the Gold Coast Titans in their final home game of the year. Kick-off is 3.30pm.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.