Matt Pritchard reviews the Warriors homecoming, 1,038 days after their last game at Mount Smart Stadium.
New Zealand Warriors 22
Tries: Tohu Harris (28), Chanel Harris-Tavita (32), Jesse Arthars (74)
Goals: Shaun Johnson 5 (24, 30, 35, 65, 76)
Wests Tigers 2
Goal: Adam Doueihi (40)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Warriors have made their return to Mount Smart Stadium a happy homecoming with their 22-2 victory against the Wests Tigers.
In front of a capacity home crowd the Warriors ended their seven-game losing streak in scoring three unanswered tries.
Wayde Egan gave the Warriors faithful something to cheer about in the first set of the game with a line break but couldn’t find support to finish off the scoring opportunity.
In a strong performance, Egan was denied by the Bunker ten minutes in after he couldn’t ground the ball from a dummy half run.
With possession heavily favouring the Warriors in the first half, they finally crossed through captain Tohu Harris twelve minutes before half-time.
They extended their lead to fourteen four minutes later when makeshift fullback Chanel Harris-Tavita was first to Shaun Johnson’s cross field kick.
Adam Doueihi slotted a penalty goal on half-time to reduce the Warriors lead to two converted tries at the break.
In a second half stalemate, Johnson’s penalty conversion with fifteen minutes remaining made it 16-2 before he set up Jesse Arthars for the Warriors third try inside the last six minutes.
The Tigers had few opportunities to get over the line with their best chance coming after Luke Garner was put through the line before being tackled by Harris-Tavita head on.
Doueihi made another good return for the Tigers and must be close to being named in the starting side.
They are the only team not to score more than 200 points this season and face a horror run over the next month with matches against the Eels, Panthers, Cowboys, and Broncos.
Veteran Johnson was the biggest influence on the Warriors win with two try assists and five goals in their win.
The Warriors now move to thirteenth on the ladder and will enjoy a bye week before heading to CommBank Stadium to take on the Eels.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Shaun Johnson (Warriors), 2 pts – Wayde Egan (Warriors), 1 pt – Joe Ofahengaue (Tigers)
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