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Panthers rookie Moses Leota brought his mum to tears after surprising her with a brand new car.
The NRL youngster was in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand for Penrith’s clash with the Warriors when the heartwarming gesture played out.
The 23-year-old was seen handing his mum a set of keys before she was quickly overwhelmed with tears of joy.
As soon as video emerged of the moment, NRL players, fans and commentators praised Leota on social media.
“Love this, great stuff mate,” tweeted Sam Burgess.
“Outstanding!!!” tweeted Andrew Voss
The Penrith Panthers followed up their initial tweet with a humbling reminder of Leota’s rise to the NRL.
“Not bad for a kid whose Panthers journey began while living in a caravan out the back of his cousin’s place in Mt Druitt, washing cars at Annlyn Motors for coin and sending money home to his family in NZ,” the Panthers tweeted.
Despite the beautiful moment, the Panthers weren’t able to prevail victorious in their clash with the Warriors.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney labelled his team’s performance their best of the season in trouncing the Panthers 36-16 to end a seven-year NRL play-off drought.
A hat-trick to David Fusitu’a and masterful display from Shaun Johnson laid the foundations of a memorable win which ensures the Kiwi club enters the post-season for the first time since 2011.
It was a disastrous night for the visitors, who appear to have lost centre Dean Whare for the season with a fractured forearm.
Kearney was pleased to put their top-eight pursuit “to bed” for the sake of the club’s long-suffering supporters.
He agreed they hadn’t played a better game in 2018.
“I think so. It was the first time we opened up a bit,” he said.
“We’ve talked about working to create a little bit of magic and I thought that happened at times tonight.”
Ciraldo didn’t see his team’s clumsy display coming although he believed it was an improvement on last week’s loss to Newcastle.
It was another harsh lesson for the young mentor in just his third game since replacing the axed Anthony Griffin.
“I haven’t been thinking of it as a learning curve or anything like that,” he said.
“I’ve just got everyone doing their best to try to make the club successful.”
Halfback Johnson was the game’s most potent attacking figure, down his team’s lethal right edge.
Strapping winger Fusitu’a was the chief beneficiary, going top of the competition try-scoring list on 21 as his team cast out the demons of their dreadful 36-4 loss in Penrith last month.
Wanting to halt a run of slow starts to matches, the Panthers did exactly the opposite.
Pinged heavily by referee Ashley Klein, they didn’t touch the ball in the first nine minutes.
The Warriors led 8-0 by then, on the back of a simple dummy-half try to prop Agnatius Paasi.
A trademark try in the corner to Fusitu’a was followed by a gritty solo score from Mason Lino, filling in for injured five-eighth Blake Green.
Penrith’s hopes dived further when centre Dean Whare left the game with an apparent hand injury.
They conjured a fortunate try before the break to winger Josh Mansour to trail 18-4.
Fusitu’a crossed twice more in the third quarter, the hat-trick coming off a sizzling 50m Johnson burst.
Solomone Kata extended the lead before Waqa Blake and Trent Merrin bagged Panthers consolation tries.