Parramatta Eels (0)13
Tries: Anthony Watmough, Semi Radradra, Ryan Morgan
Goals: Luke Kelly (0/3)
Field Goals: Luke Kelly
New Zealand Warriors (12)17
Tries: Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata, Bodene Thompson
Goals: Shaun Johnson (2/2)
Field Goals: Chad Townsend
Bodene Thompson is the hero for New Zealand Warriors with the match winning try in golden point to give his side a brave 17-13 victory over Parramatta Eels at Pirtek Stadium.
Scores were level at thirteen all which forced the game into golden point. Shaun Johnson’s field goal attempt was blocked by Danny Wicks but gave the Warriors another set of six from the goal line dropout.
It was Thompson who took a risk by running with the ball when it could have easily gone for Johnson to attempt another field goal. Eels players converging to no avail as he crossed the line. With replays inconclusive as to whether the ball hit the white paint, the on-field decision of try remained to the ire of the local faithful.
New Zealand Warriors were up by twelve points at the break but appeared to hit the wall after losing Ryan Hoffman and Thomas Leuluai to first half injuries.
Hoffman was an early casualty of the battle when his head hit the ground heavily in being tackled by Nathan Peats two minutes in. Hoffman had jelly legs as he was assisted from the field and took no further part in the game.
Leuluai left the field after twenty-four minutes after suffering a serious knee injury in taking up the ball. This left the Warriors with fifteen players for just under an hour of the game.
Shaun Johnson created and finished off the first try of the match in brilliant fashion. Johnson decided to run with the ball on the last tackle near halfway before offloading to Johnathan Wright who then kicked inside for the halfback to weave his way to the line.
Solomone Kata knows how to find the line and backed himself from twenty metres out to take on the defence and score at speed as the Warriors extended their lead to twelve points on the half hour.
Parramatta scored two minutes after the main break when Anthony Watmough crossed for his first try in the blue and gold. It came off Luke Kelly’s cross field kick where a leaping Wright lost the ball with Watmough was on hand to force the ball down over the line.
The momentum continued with the Eels as the Warriors discipline became a concern for coach Andrew McFadden. Semi Radradra scoring out wide as the Eels crossed for their second try in the first five minutes of the second half. Luke Kelly couldn’t convert for a second time and the Eels trailed by four.
Parramatta almost drew level fifteen minutes into the second half but Semi Radradra was denied a certain try. As he went to score in the corner his foot made contact with the touch in goal line as Warriors fullback Tuimoala Lolohea came across in defence to save the day. Female linesman Kasey Badger making a brave, and more importantly correct call in a weekend to celebrate Women In League round.
Finally with seventeen remaining the Eels leveled scores with Will Hopoate sending Ryan Morgan over to score in the corner. Kelly continued to have an unlucky day with the boot in his promotion to the top grade in replacement of Chris Sandow. Sandow was influential in the Wenty Magpies win in VB NSW Cup earlier today.
With six minutes remaining Tim Mannah was on the attack and appeared to have the ball stripped by Sione Lousi when there was more than one Warrior in the tackle. The referee’s calling play on and that Mannah carried the ball loosely. Chad Townsend would convert the opportunity to put the Warriors up.
Luke Kelly went somewhere close to redemption when he sent the game into golden point with a field goal of his own.
It took five minutes for the deadlock to be broken by Man of the Match Thompson. A great win against adversity for the Warriors and another setback for the improved Eels.
Ken Maumalo on debut for the Warriors might be have a hit-up reviewed by the Match Review after raising his knees after thirty-three minutes. Reports suggesting Isaac deGois suffered a fractured cheekbone in the incident.
Before kick-off the Parramatta Eels launched their initiative to campaign against domestic violence against women in the Women In League round. Both sides linking hands to support the cause.