Those that know me know I support the whole club not just 1st grade so off I went to WIN stadium Wollongong to cheer on the boys. Got there about 10 minutes before kickoff and caught the end of the warmups and hello Konrad is wearing jersey 21. Couldn't see Ikahiifo there so realised Koni had replaced him with Peyroux into the back row.
Evertytime ive been to Wollongong is been cold shitty weather and guess what it was freezing, drizzly windy and a friggen seagull shit on my sleeve of my hoodie grrrrrrr. So I got into the stadium and there was about 150 odd people there and they had under 8s playing the curtain raiser so I looked for any fellow Warriors supoorters. Nope just me so im thinking where the hell I should sit. Made my way around all the parents and spotted Stacey Jones going to the Coaches box so I thought that's me. Followed him to it and I sat just under it which got a bit of getting used to becos everytime he sent messages down to the trainers they would turn around and give him the thumbs up which the first 2 times I gave them a thumbs up back becos I thought they were doing it to me cos I was the only Warriors supporter there.
Im always interested to see how our fringe first graders go and the oppositions fringe firstgraders and fellow Kiwis. Was keen to see how Packer shaped up.
We kicked off and pretty much went set for set for the first few minutes before Fish gapped it down the left to set Maumalo up for a try. From the insuing kickoff Peyroux drops it on tackle 2 grrrr and that set the Cutters score. Our second try came from a great Lisone offload in traffic (3 defenders) to Fish who chucks the gas on and steps the fullback to score.
Next try Fish makes a break deep in our half gasses it again and draws the fullback to Maumalo who ran about 35 to get tackled but managed to go over with momentum. Lino misses the kick. Infact didn't make a kick all day, all our points came from 6 tries. Peyroux scored the 4th try from a nice give and go with a little break from Lino. Tries 5 and 6 came to Maumalo who did well both times to score in the corner by chrashing over. One was when he carried Etu Nabuli over the line. Poor old Mason Lino missed all 6 conversions and would u believe hit each upright and the crossbar with 3 kicks. The cutters made a comeback with 3 quick tries and they had all the momentum and their goal kicker was nailing them from everywhere. There last try made it 24-22 to us with 5 minutes to go and they scored right next to the post and their kicker hit the upright hahahaha good job. We held on for the win.
Like I usually do, here are a few things that caught my eye that you don't usually see.
Etu Nabuli is a freaking giant the Fijian winger. Man mountain. John Palavi got put in a dangerous position in the 2nd half, it was bad. In my opinion it was like Trent Merrins one in SOO 3. During Maumaolos 4th try our 5/6 passed it to him then got massively taken out late (ended up coming off possible broken ribs) and our captain John Palavi ran in started fighting the guy. Both teams were ready to rumble but the boys held Palavi out and cool heads prevailed (imagine Mannering doing that). Konrad got put on report for elbowing a guy in the head on the ground. Hes got carryover points from the Anthony Tupou incident so he could be in trouble. About 3 sets after the Cutters forward took out our 5/8 he was a block runner in a cutters play and Matt Allwood came running in and elbowed him in the face haha it was really blatent but the ref and touchies missed it so play on, good work allwood. Players to impress/suck were..... Lisone was the best forward on the park. Heaps of offloads, broke tackles and played big minutes to. Maumalo was great to although some of his hitups were a bit handbreakish, but he scored 4 tries and in all 4 he had work to do to get the ball down. Fish was good to. First half he was on fire with heaps of gas, made some good hits to, really stinging tackles. I was having a laugh to myself becos he made sum strong tackles and ran well with the ball and was injury free then he goes up for a bomb and mis judges his leap doesn't take the ball and doesn't touch any tacklers then he starts limping haha. They were my 3 top players for the match. David Bhana was a workhorse all day and played the whole 80. James Bell off the bench was good to, small guy but good footwork before the line gets him good metres. Nathaniel Roache didn't do any thing special. He went to 5/8 when Hingano went off. Konrad didn't offer much, Allwood is still allmud, he should stick to Porn since he has a porn name lol, Peyroux nothing special as always. Russell Packer was strong but well contained. Played the first 60 minutes then had the last 10. Pretty big spell. Adam Tuimavavae-Gerard (former warrior) was also well contained. The last 5 minutes were helter skelter with us holding a 2 point lead but then Packer dropped a pass with 40 seconds left which gave us the victory. At that point I turned around to Stacey gave him a clap and thumbs up which he replied with a pretend pulling out his hair action and a thumbs up also thanked me for coming to watch. No worries mate. So all in all a good day and will have a good sleep and off to the footy stadium tomoro for the first grade. Cheers peeps
NSW CUP | Table toppers
Sat 18th July, 10:17PM
Ken Maumalo's four-try haul helped the Vodafone Warriors to their fourth straight NSW Cup victory. Image | www.photosport.nz
A second victory over Illawarra in the space of a week – powered by Ken Maumalo’s four-try haul – has given the Vodafone Warriors the outright lead in the New South Wales Cup’s minor premiership race.
They went into the 19th round level with Penrith on 26 points at the top of the table but now have sole ownership of top spot.
While they were holding on to beat the Cutters 24-22 – and claim their fourth straight win – the Panthers fell to a 10-24 loss to Canterbury-Bankstown.
Since a heavy home defeat by the Bulldogs in round 13, the Vodafone Warriors have collected 12 points in the last six rounds from four straight wins and two byes but they had to withstand a fast finishing Illawarra today to keep their run alive.
They’d been in control leading 24-6 entering the last 15 minutes only to be hit with three late Illawarra tries, the third of them four minutes from time to leave the home side just two points adrift. There the comeback ended as the Vodafone Warriors negotiated the dying stages to secure their 11th win of the season.
That they didn’t win by a more convincing margin was due to a total lack of success on the goal-kicking front with the Vodafone Warriors snaring six tries only for the usually dependable Mason Lino to fail with all six conversion attempts.
While Lino was astray his former Vodafone Junior Warriors team-mate Maumalo was in sizzling try-scoring touch with two four pointers in each half to give him and a total of eight in seven NSW Cup games this season.
The Vodafone Warriors scored first through Maumalo, had a second from fullback Glen Fisiiahi – five tries in five games so far – and another from Maumalo to lead 12-6 at halftime.
Three unanswered tries in the second half through Dominique Peyroux and Maumalo’s third and fourth had the Vodafone Warriors 18 points clear before the Cutters hit back.
The Vodafone Warriors had a notable line-up change for the match with Konrad Hurrell coming back from a shoulder injury.
Illawarra Cutters 22 (Eli Roberts, Sam Coster, Junior Vaivai, Chris Lewis tries; Blake Wallace 3 conversions).
Halftime: 12-6 Vodafone Warriors.
Referee: Jeff Hartup.
Vodafone Warriors: Glen Fisiiahi; Ken Maumalo, Konrad Hurrell, Matt Allwood, Viliami Kaveinga; Ata Hingano, Mason Lino; Daniel Palavi, Nathaniel Roache, Sam Lisone; John Palavi (c), Dominique Peyroux; David Bhana. Interchange: Upu Poching, James Bell, Paki Afu, Zac Tippins.
I remember comments around Stacey Jones being pushed through the coaching ranks too quickly, job for the boys etc. Won the u20's comp in his first year inspite of having a number of players unavailable as we moved them through to NSW cup early and now top of the table in his first year as NSW cup coach, again inspite of changes and players being let go. Has done incredibly well with what he has available to him IMO.
Come finals time, what everyone's opinion on guys like roache and hingano?
I'm all for our best young guys developing in reserves during the year if they're good enough but come finals id rather they went back to the 20s tbh.
A lot of these kids have come through the grades together and to get a chance to win a title together would certainly be a special moment in all their careers.
Also I think the u20s would miss them a lot more than the nswarriors would.
Look at the impact Lisone and Tui had last year.
Rate Hingano, he is an outstanding young prospect.
Like to see him go back to NYC come finals time.
He turned 18 this year so has time on his side.
But if he is above his means at NSWarriors level.
Have no issue with that either .
Will be a 1st grade half one day.
Highlights: Jets v Warriors (Rd 21)
Mon 3rd August, 04:45PM
The New Zealand Warriors remain locked in a three-way race for the minor premiership with a 30-28 victory over the Newtown Jets.
The Warriors raced out to an 18-point lead after just 11 minutes that forced the Jets to play catch-up football for the entire match.
Mason Lino was instrumental for the Warriors in a game that was hindered by constant stoppages, while Todd Murphy was outstanding in a losing outfit.
The loss for the Jets means they fall out of the top eight and face an uphill battle to feature in the Finals
The Jets made their first error just 20 seconds into the contest, which set the tone for the stop-start affair.
Saula Solomona scored for the Warriors off the following set after a lovely James Bell offload fractured the Jets defence and created an overlap.
The Jets almost hit back immediately, but Tarek El Masri could not handle a Todd Murphy grubber to score a certain try.
The mistake proved to play out as a 12-point turnaround, as Lino sold a massive dummy off the following set to bust through, before the ball was spread left for Solomona to athletically plant the ball down for his second try.
Lino converted from the sideline to make the score 12-0 with an incredibly skillful kick that faded in and around the left upright.
The Jets fell for the dummy again three minutes later after Nathaniel Roache faked to pass, broke through the defensive line and then offloaded for Dominique Peyroux to pick up the ball and give the Warriors a commanding 18-0 lead.
It appeared the Jets were in for a long day but the Murphy-led bluebags never gave up.
Gerard McCallum put in a grubber that seemed to have too much weight on it, but it was athletically batted back into play and pounced on by Tim Robinson to open the Jets’ account.
A Murphy grubber 10 minutes later deflected off a Warriors defender and was picked up by Kurt Kara who planted the ball down to reduce the deficit to 18-12.
Kara bagged his second try six minutes later after he ran on the inside of a Daniel Abou-Sleiman pass to lock up the scores at 18-all.
Lino was injured two minutes into the second half, but played on and made a linebreak just three minutes later to no avail.
The Warriors regained the lead in the 51st minute after Peyroux caught the Jets napping. He bounced off various defenders to score a soft try, which was followed by the kickoff going out on the full.
Two potential hat tricks were then blown in the space of four minutes. Solomona would have had his third if not for an obstruction, while Kara dropped the ball in the act of scoring shortly afterwards.
Sami Sauiluma made an excellent linebreak on the 60-minute mark, before Roache was sent to the sin bin for holding him down in the tackle.
Despite being a man short, the Warriors increased their lead to 30-18 when John Palavi scored an outstanding try where he powered through various Jets defenders in a 40-metre raid.
Corey Brown responded four minutes later by sprinting around the Warriors defence to score an important runaway try for the hosts.
With seven minutes remaining, Murphy put in a cross-field kick for Corin Smith to score but missed the important conversion that would have locked up the scores.
The Jets had two try scoring opportunities in the dying minutes but failed to convert, which resulted in the Warriors being two-point victors.
Warriors 30 (S Solomona 2, D Peyroux 2, J Palavi tries; M Lino 5 goals) bt Newtown Jets 28 (K Kara 2, Tim Robinson, C Brown, C Smith tries; T Murphy 4 goals)
Stacy Jones must be really struggling for players with the turnover. If Chad is fit then I think he should play to save Lino from a confidence bashing. Let him play for the next side and let Chad end his Warriors career hopefully with some dignity. I would have been for playing all the kids for experience but perhaps a slaughter would break them mentally. Something feels like we are like a sparring partner for Tyson who has to keep getting up from a savage knock down.
This was the NSW Cup side on the weekend.. Only thee players with NRL games under the belt, and one of those had to go off with a concussion (Maumalo)
1 SIMON LUAFALEALO
2 KEN MAUMALO
3 LEVI NORTON
4 GARY FUIMAONO
5 WILLIE PEACE
6 SILIVA HAVILI
7 RAYMOND TALIMALIE
21 TAYLOR DANIELS
9 ZAC TIPPINS
10 DAVID BHANA (c)
11 SIONE FE’AO
12 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER
13 JAMES BELL