Wests Tigers have gone down 23-7 to the Penrith Panthers in their opening game of the Auckland Nines but have received some better news on the injury front, after forward Chris Lawrence and Tyler Cassel both went off during the match.

Lawrence suffered a cork in his hip, but is better than initial fears, and may feature again in the Auckland Nines while Cassel is being monitored for concussion.

It was a tough result on the field for Jason Taylor's side, who trailed 12-0 at the half-time break courtesy of tries to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Waqa Blake and Josh Mansour.

Blake's second shortly after the interval extended the Panthers' lead to 16-0, before Tim Simona kicked twice in a brilliant individual try to dive over in the bonus zone.

Manaia Cherrington added the extras to cut the margin to 16-7, before a late Panthers try off the ensuing kickoff took the margin back out to 23-7 as the full-time siren sounded.

Wests Tigers will look to bounce back later on Day 1 of the Auckland Nines when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys at 5:40pm local time (3:40pm Sydney time).


FULL TIME — Penrith Panthers 23 (Blake 3, Watene-Zelezniak, Mansour tries; Panthers 1/4 goals) def. Wests Tigers 7 (Simona tries; Cherrington 1/1 goals).