Brad Inger reviews the New Zealand Warriors clash with the Wests Tigers. Here’s how the match went.
|5th||Try Moses Mbye (Tigers)||Tigers 4-0|
|12th||Try David Nofoaluma (Tigers)||Tigers 8-0|
|18th||Try Karl Lawton (Warriors)||Tigers 8-4|
|19th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||Tigers 8-6|
|24th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||8 All|
|37th||Try Sam McIntyre (Tigers)||12-8 Tigers|
|38th||Goal Benji Marshall (Tigers)||14-8 Tigers|
|46th||Try Peta Hiku (Warriors)||14-12 Tigers|
|47th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||14 All|
|58th||Try Peta Hiku (Warriors)||18-14 Warriors|
|59th||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||20-14 Warriors|
|62nd||Try Tohu Harris (Warriors)||24-14 Warriors|
|63rd||Goal Kodi Nikorima (Warriors)||26-14 Warriors|
|73rd||Try Tommy Talau (Tigers)||26-18 Warriors|
|74th||Goal Moses Mbye (Tigers)||26-20 Warriors|
The Wests Tigers were wary of a New Zealand Warriors side that took the Sydney Roosters to the limit last round but it only took the Tigers 5 minutes before Moses Mbye crossed after an uncharacteristic error from Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Moments later, after some poor discipline from the New Zealand side, the Tigers were over again, this time via Tigers leading try-scorer David Nofoaluma. With pressure mounting, the Warriors forced their way back into the match with Karl Lawton spying a gap in the Tigers defence and scooting out of dummy-half for the Warriors first points. A few sets later the Warriors levelled the scores, electing to kick a penalty goal when the Tigers infringed right in front of the posts. This lead to a substantial period of the half were the Warriors dominated territory and possession but were unable to convert it into points. A series of Penalties against the Warriors allowed the Tigers back into the match and they reclaimed the lead when Sam McIntyre barged over in the dying stages of the half, seeing the Tigers walk into the sheds ahead 14-8.
It was the Warriors who came out the gates with intent as Peta Hiku scored back to back tries to hand the lead back to the New Zealand side. The Tigers were starved of possession and struggled to fight out of their own red zone with the Warriors forcing repeat sets almost at will. The Warriors strategy of putting Tommy Talau under pressure with kicks finally resulted in points as Talau dropped the ball right into Patrick Herbert’s hands who quickly shuffled it off to Tohu Harris to further increase the Warriors lead in what appeared to be an upset win in the making. Wests did not drop their heads and started to string some good sets together but the Warriors scrambled well on defense until the Tigers finally had a breakthrough when Talau finished of a nice play to score in the corner. Mbye took a quick conversion to narrow the Warriors lead to a six-point margin with only minutes remaining on the clock. Some poor discipline on the New Zealand sides part gave Tigers fans a brief moment of hope that the game could go into Golden Point but a handling error from the Tigers saw the Warriors hold onto their first victory over the Tigers on Australian soil since 2013, winning 26-20.
The highlight of the match was the game-changing moment when Peta Hiku scored his second try of the game. This match was on a knife-edge and despite a rusty start to his new partnership with loan winger George Jennings, Hiku made the difference with several strong runs down the left edge. With their superstar wingers out for the rest of the season, the Warriors will be relying on the veteran centre to create plenty more scoring opportunities for himself and his winger.
New Zealand Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Patrick Herbert, 3. Adam Pompey, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. George Jennings, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Blake Green, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Karl Lawton, 10. Jack Hetherington, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Jazz Tevaga, 14. Wayde Egan, 15. Adam Blair, 16. Daniel Alvaro, 17. Lachlan Burr
Wests Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Chris Lawrence, 4. Moses Mbye, 5. Tommy Talau, 6. Billy Walters, 7. Benji Marshall, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Oliver Clark, 11. Luke Garner, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Alex Twal, 14. Sam McIntyre, 15. Thomas Mikaele, 16. Luke Brooks, 17. Shawn Blore