Brad Inger reviews the New Zealand Warriors clash with the North Queensland Cowboys. Here’s how the game went.
|8th||Try Patrick Herbert (Warriors)||Warriors 4-0|
|9th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 6-0|
|15th||Try Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)||Warriors 6-4|
|16th||Goal Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||6 All|
|22nd||Try Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Cowboys 10-6|
|23rd||Goal Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Cowboys 12-6|
|25th||Try Eliesa Katoa (Warriors)||Cowboys 12-10|
|26th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||12 All|
|35th||Try Peta Hiku (Warriors)||Warriors 16-12|
|40th||Field-Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 17-12|
|42nd||Try Justin O’Neil (Cowboys)||Warriors 17-16|
|45th||Try Adam Pompey (Warriors)||Warriors 21-16|
|48th||Try Francis Molo (Cowboys)||Warriors 21-20|
|49th||Goal Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Cowboys 22-21|
|55th||Try Peta Hiku (Warriors)||Warriors 25-22|
|56th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 27-22|
|64th||Try Peta Hiku (Warriors)||Warriors 31-22|
|70th||Try Karl Lawton (Warriors)||Warriors 35-22|
|72nd||Try Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)||Warriors 35-26|
|79th||Sin bin Esan Marsters|
|80th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Warriors 37-26|
Desperate to show that they can score points, the Warriors came out swinging, running with intent and they reaped the rewards when Patrick Herbert pounced on a Blake Green chip kick to score the first try of the match. An injured Valentine Holmes was next to score with Kyle Feldt levelling the scores with his conversion. Moments later Feldt was in the mix again, scoring a try when Peta Hiku inexplicably allowed the ball to roll for too long in the in-goal. Kodi Nikorima sparked the Warriors attack and found rookie sensation Eliesa Katoa who powered over to score, allowing Nikorima to level the scores once again with his conversion. Peta Hiku was next to score making up for his error earlier in the half pushing the Warriors ahead, with Nikorima nudging the Warriors an extra point ahead with a field goal to end the half.
The Warriors started strong again, but an Eliesa Katoa error on the first set of the half gave the Cowboys excellent field possession which Justin O’Neil converted into a try in the corner. The Warriors responded quickly with Nikorima tapping on a Katoa offload for Adam Pompey to cross in the corner. A loose carry from the Warriors on the next set allowed the Cowboys to reclaim the lead when Francis Molo barrelled over for a four-pointer. The seesaw nature of the game continued with Hiku diving on a grubber for his second try of the night, pushing the Warriors lead out to 5. A few sets later Hiku snatched a kick out of the sky to go over for a hat trick and push the Warriors lead out even further. With injuries reducing the Cowboys bench, fatigue had set in, and Hiku almost got himself a fourth try with Feldt just tapping the ball over the dead-ball line. However, Karl Lawton added to the Warriors try tally just minutes later after snapping up a deflected ball to score the Warriors 7th try. A Hiku error from kickoff saw the Cowboys finally get some much-needed possession and took very little time to send Feldt over for a double in the corner. Katoa looked almost sure to score in the dying stages of the match only to have Esan Marsters tackle him without the ball, this saw Marsters sent to the bin and Nikorima ended the game with a penalty goal to hand the Warriors their second win of the 2020 season.
My highlight of the match was Eliesa Katoa’s try. Kodi Nikorima had his best performance in a Warriors and showed how dangerous he can be when he runs the ball, and no one benefited from this more than Katoa. He is still very young, but you can expect to see the partnership between the half and second-rower to develop into a key attacking ploy for the New Zealand side.
New Zealand Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Patrick Herbert, 4.Gerard Beale, 20. Peta Hiku, 5. Adam Pompey, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Blake Green, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Lachlan Burr, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Adam Blair, 14. Karl Lawton, 15. Poasa Faamausili, 16. King Vuniyayawa, 17. Jack Murchie
North Queensland Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O’Neill, 4. Esan Marsters, 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 6. Scott Drinkwater, 7. Jake Clifford, 10. Jordan McLean, 9. Reece Robson, 13. Josh McGuire, 11. Mitchell Dunn, 12. Coen Hess, 20. Jason Taumalolo, 8. Francis Molo, 14. Reuben Cotter, 15. Tom Gilbert, 17. Gavin Cooper