A good night for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in Townsville, outlasting the Vodafone Warriors...
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In front of an impressive 21,500 loud and parochial Warriors supporters in Hamilton last night, the Dragons Premier League side were victors over a predominately inexperienced NZ Warriors side.
Seasoned NRL performers from the likes of Betham, Guttenbiel and Tookey lead from the front in their time on the field for the Warriors, as did Gorrell, who was back from an 18 month break due to knee reconstruction, and Tangata-Toa, until he headed off the field with a knee injury, for the Saints side.
Both sides put on a great performance for the large crowd in what turned into a very exciting trial match.
An early try to the Warriors side had them in the lead by 4-0, however 24 unanswered points to the Dragons saw them going to the break with a handy 24-4 lead.
Right from the onset of the second half, Tookey made his mark on the game, bursting over for a try within 3 minutes, which seemingly lifted the Warriors side, and the young Warriors roared back into the game. Two minutes later forward Epalahame Lauaki broke three tackles to score.
After 52 minutes Louis Anderson ran in centre Shaun Metcalf and the Warriors had brought the score back to 18-24.
St George took the score back out to 30-18 with a solo effort from halfback Aoterangi Herangi. Minutes later a Herangi chip kick was claimed by Metcalf, who ran behind the posts to level the scores at 30 all.
The Dragons, however, were able to cross the line late in the piece to restore their advantage and hold on for the win 36-30.
New Australian forward Matt Jobson had a strong first quarter for the Warriors while Ervan Tuimavave, Manu Vituvei, Kane Ferris, and Louis Anderson also had big games.
Warriors coach Daniel Anderson said he was pleased with the effort.
"We probably scored the same number of tries but we lost our kicker (fullback Toshio Laiseni) at halftime through injury.
"We held our gloves up for a whole heap of inexperienced players.
"Really what happened was just about every player in the team made a mistake, that's what hurt us."
"From this just about every player who hasn't played NRL before can walk away from this and say I did okay."
The Dragons point scorers;
Aaron Gorrell Reece Wellington Justin Poore Jarred Dykes Trent Head Lee Bennett
Warriors point Scorers;
Manu Vituvei Epalahame Lauaki Shaun Metcalfe 2 Mark Tookey Herewini Rangi
Goals: Marcus Perenara 2/4 Evarn Tuimavave 1/1 Toshio Laiseni 0/1