Craig Cauchi reviews New Zealand Warriors vs St George Illawarra Dragons. Here’s how the game went.
|6th||Try Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (Warriors)||Warriors 4-0|
|6th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 6-0|
|23rd||Try Eliesa Katoa||Warriors 10-0|
|25th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 12-0|
|46th||Penalty Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 14-0|
|53rd||Try Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 18-0|
Off the back of a repeat of the tackle count, the Warriors scored the first try from a last tackle fumble from Matt Dufty. Prop forward Jamayne Taunoa-Brown was the first one there to clean up the spill and touch down next to the post for the first try of his career. Fatigue set in as both sides ran through the sets at a high intensity. A penalty placed the Warriors deep in attack and with the Dragons defence spread, Kodi Nikorima passed off to Eliesa Katoa, who was far too big for Ben Hunt to stop one-on-one. The Warriors ended the half with a 12-0 lead and played with a lot more composure than the Dragons.
The Warriors impressive completion rate tired the Dragons middle defence out, which provided plenty of space for Kodi Nikorima to run into the back field. He scored off the next play as the retreating Dragons defence couldn’t get back in time to stop the five-eighth from crashing over. The Dragons attack amounted to nothing by the end of the match – appearing to be out of the contest from the opening whistle. The Warriors choked their opponents to death with a near perfect completion rate.
The Warriors have been known as a rocks and diamonds side but in this match, they threw away any risk in attack, and played a low-risk game with a high importance on completing their sets. The Warriors made it to 44 sets without an error with an effort that belied the disruptions off the field. The most gripping part of the match was whether the side could make it to the end with a perfect game.
New Zealand Warriors: 1.Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2.Patrick Herbert 3.Peta Hiku 4.Gerard Beale 5.Ken Maumalo 6.Kodi Nikorima 7.Blake Green 10.Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9.Wayde Egan 13.Adam Blair 12.Tohu Harris 17.Eliesa Katoa 11.Isaiah Papali’i INTERCHANGE: 14.Karl Lawton 15.King Vuniyayawa 16.Agnatius Paasi 22.Jack Murchie
St George Illawarra Dragons: 1.Matthew Duffy 2.Jordan Pereira 3.Brayden Williame 4.Zac Lomax 5.Mikaele Ravalawa 6.Corey Norman 7.Ben Hunt 8. Korbin Sims 9.Cameron McInnes 10.Paul Vaughan 11.Tyson Frizell 12.Tariq Sims 13.James Graham INTERCHANGE: 14.Josh Kerr 15.Blake Lawrie 16.Tyrell Fuimaono 17.Euan Aitken