General League: Warriors reignite playoff hopes



Warriors 44 Dragons 16
The New Zealand Warriors reignited their National Rugby League playoff hopes with a convincing 44-16 victory over St George Illawarra in Auckland today.
The Dragons arrived at Mt Smart Stadium looking to maintain their own semifinal ambitions after two consecutive wins, including putting 50 points past Canberra last weekend.
But a strong first 30 minutes by the Warriors proved decisive in front of 10,000 spectators braving cold and windy conditions.
Looking to get their campaign back on track after defeat away to North Queensland, the home side ended up scoring seven tries to three, with centre Simon Mannering grabbing a brace.
Five-eighth Michael Witt's hot streak with his boots continued with eight goals, including two from the sideline, to stretch his run of consecutive successful attempts to 25, including two for Manly last season.
Three tries in 10min early in the first half set the Warriors on the road to their first success over the Dragons in five matches.
Mannering got the first after just 4min, forcing his way over with the help of winger Manu Vatuvei despite the attention of four tacklers.
A good offload from second rower Sam Rapira created the opening for the second for hooker George Gatis, who sidestepped his way past the defence to dot down under the crossbar.
Then straight from the kickoff, centre Jerome Ropati finished off a 60m move for the Warriors' third touchdown.
With Witt landing every goal attempt, including a penalty, the Warriors opened a 26-0 lead after 29min thanks to Mannering's second try.
Fullback Wade McKinnon gathered a last-tackle kick by the Dragons on his own 20m line before his cutout pass set Mannering away, and not even the loss of a boot slowed the centre on his 80m run to the line.
The only blip for the Warriors, who had dominated possession in the first half, was the two soft tries they conceded before halftime.

The first went to centre Matt Cooper, who scored after Warriors halfback Grant Rovelli lost the ball deep in his own territory.
Another runaway effort, this time from 85m out by McKinnon, restored the Warriors' cushion.
Right on halftime, McKinnon was guilty of failing to tidy up a kick ahead by opposition halfback Jamie Soward, who toed on to score and close the gap at the interval to 32-12.
The visitors edged nearer shortly after the restart when a fine crosskick by five-eighth Rangi Chase was finished off by winger Josh Morris.
But the Warriors then scored a easy try of their own, with a Witt offload allowing interchange forward Evarn Tuimavave to barge his way over.
Mistakes began to creep in from both sides, before winger Michael Crockett touched down with 11min remaining to help close out the victory for the Warriors.


Witty's goal kicking was a great highlight and so were our trys but probably for mind, the best moment was Mannering losing the boot! :lol1: aah stick that on a highlights reel!


Lol yeah that was pretty funny.. So glad we had a big win this weekend :D

I didnt even see the boot go flying until the slow mo replay and the commentator pointing it out.. and I've got a 43" tv too. How blind am I!


more game wrap ups from warriors v drags game

Warriors on the march

15/07/2007 3:40:51 PM
Aaron Lawton


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The New Zealand Warriors have crushed the spirit of the travelling St George Illawarra Dragons after claiming a 44-16 victory on a cold Sunday afternoon in Auckland.
Squaring off in front of 10,037 fans who braved the unfriendly conditions at Mt Smart Stadium, the Warriors repaid the faith with a sizzling display.
Heading into the contest on the back of a stunning win over the Raiders in round 18, the Dragons were expected to put up a stern fight.
However, after being caught napping out on the left wing, the hosts ran in five tries to the visitors' two to lead 32-12 at the break.
The second half developed into a more subdued display but the Warriors carried on where they left off, crossing the paint twice more to secure the much-needed two competition points.
Four minutes into the contest and after a glut of possession, the Warriors muscled over for the opening try courtesy of some powerful work by centre Simon Mannering.
Latching onto the ball deep inside Dragons territory, Mannering cast aside five would-be defenders to burrow over the line to give his side an early lead.
Then, seven minutes later, hooker George Gatis put the hosts further ahead after running on to a well-worked pass from Sam Rapira to dot down under the sticks.
The Warriors' celebrations, however, were far from over and moments after the restart Jerome Ropati joined the party when he charged 20m down the sideline to score.
Leading 18-0 and continuing to dominate in both territory and possession, the Warriors edged slightly further in front with 20 minutes left in the half after Michael Witt slotted over a penalty goal.
With 11 minutes left on the clock in the opening term, Mannering, turning in arguably his best performance of the season, then took a long pass from Wade McKinnon and sprinted 80m down the field to score untouched under the posts.
This, however, appeared to wake the Dragons from their slumber and with just over five minutes left in the half, Matt Cooper crossed the chalk to give his side its first points of the afternoon.
Cooper's four-pointer, though, failed to dampen the Warriors' spirits and with the siren approaching, McKinnon and Manu Vatuvei combined for another show-stopping try.
All but tackled out on the wing, Vatuvei flicked a miracle pass in to McKinnon who proceeded to gallop 92m down the field and score.
However, ahead 32-6, a momentary lapse on defence by the hosts allowed Dragons halfback Jamie Soward to work some individual magic and score from a kick-chase to see out the half.
Clearly a different side after the break, the Dragons, buoyed by early possession, clawed their way back into the contest four minutes in when speedy wing Josh Morris dived on a Rangi Chase kick to score out wide.
Shocked by the Dragons' resurgence but far from ready to give up, the Warriors, though, regained the momentum in the 48th minute when Evarn Tuimavave crashed over for an easy try under the posts.
What followed from there was a defensive display from both sides until Michael Crockett, returning for his first game since landing a high shot on Bulldogs youngster Cameron Phelps in round 12, dived over out wide in the 66th minute.
Ahead 44-16 after Witt landed the conversion from the sideline, his eighth for the match, the Warriors were then happy to wind the clock down and seal a thrilling victory.


I didnt even see the boot go flying until the slow mo replay and the commentator pointing it out.. and I've got a 43" tv too. How blind am I!

It happened right in front of where we were sitting. Very funny to see him sprint past, with a boot suddenly in the air behind him! Thus he was dubbed "One Shoe" Mannering. :lol1:

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