A wet and slippery field at the Brookvale Oval didn't stop the NZ Warriors from netting their first competition points of the 2004 NRL season when they defeated the home side by 28-10.
Both the NZ Warriors and the Sea Eagles played well considering the conditions were not favourable to the flamboyant style we are used to and expect from the NZ Warriors. The discipline shown by both sides made for a tough battle in the forwards.
A hard fought lead of just 6-4 to the Warriors at half time ensured the two teams would come out firing in the second half, and the small crowd braving the winter like conditions were not disappointed.
The Warriors found their footing and blew out the scoreline with some rookie Lauaki scoring 2 tries, along with fullback Brent Webb. A soft late try to the Sea Eagles showed their loyal supporters they do not give in, scoring with just 12 men on the field with Hopoate sin binned by referee Simpkins late in the second half.
NZ Warriors coach Daniel Anderson will be pleased to have 2 points finally in the competition, with good performances by players that have been quiet so far in the season. Fa'afili, Lauaki, and Seuseu all stood up today for his side. Michael Monaghan and Daniel Heckenberg had outstanding games for the Sea Eagles.
Scorers: SEA EAGLES 10 Tries: Stephenson, Watmough Goals: Walker 1/2 defeated by WARRIORS 28 Tries: Lauitiiti, Webb 2, Lauaki 2 Goals: Faumuina 4/5
By the clock:
0 min: Kick off in slippery condition at Brookvale Oval
5th min: NEWS - Sea Eagles hot on attack with back to back penalties. A dropped ball in damp conditions close to their line, the play breaks down with a scrum to the Warriors
11th min: TRY - Stephenson for Sea Eagles. The weight of possession has been with the Manly side. A high kick to Hick's wing, and he pops the back beautifully for Stephenson to score. Walker from the sideline, misses the conversion. Sea Eagles 4-0
15th min: NEWS - Ropati (Warriors) close to scoring, having only to pick up the ball and force it over the tryline. Unfortunately the ball was too slippery for him
19th min: TRY - Lauitiiti for Warriors. A solid set of six by the Warriors sees them set up for the line dropout. Good hands out to the big man, and there's no stopping him close to the line. Faumuina from out wide kicks well to add the two points. Warriors 6-4
26th min: NEWS - Ropati (Warriors) to the sideline with an injury to his jaw, Jobson, a forward replacing the five-eighth
30th min: NEWS - The Sea Eagles unlucky to score after a brilliant 80 metre burst through the Warriors defence. Warriors hold the lead 6-4
35th min: NEWS - Pretty even match so far with both sides making ground, and also defending well on their line
HALF TIME: A disciplined performance by both sides, playing very safe wet weather football. Warriors lead at the break, 6-4
Second half underway
45th min: NEWS - Solid start to the second half by both sides, no silly stuff
50th min: NEWS - Great defence by the Manly side as the Warriors set attack after attack. The Sea Eagles not letting them through.
51st min: TRY - Webb for Warriors. A great bust and offload by Seuseu sets up a flying Webb 50 metres out, to score under the posts. Faumuina adds the easy two points. Warriors 12-4
53rd min: TRY - Lauaki for Warriors. The big lad scores his first NRL try after the roll on by the Warriors ends with a brilliant break by Fa?fili to set uo Lauaki for his try out wide. Faumuina from the sideline, misses his first conversion. Warriors 16-4
56th min: NEWS - The Warriors on fire. A 40/20 kick by Jones fires up the boys from NZ. A dropped ball on the third tackle ends the attack, Manly regroup well
61st min: NEWS - A lot of dropped ball by both side. A try saving tackle by Andrew Walker for the Sea Eagles right on the line, saves further points by the Warriors. They still lead 16-4
70th min: NEWS - A fired up Hopoate tries to urge on his side. A penalty by the ref certainly gives them their best opportunity close to their line with 10 minutes to go
72nd min: TRY - Lauaki for Warriors. Ill discipline by Hopoate allows the Warriors back to back penalties, they were never going to stop Lauaki score his second try close to the line. Hopoate cools his heels in the sin bin after ref Simpkins cops a bit of back chat. Faumuina converts. Warriors 22-4
75th min: TRY - Webb for Warriors. A bit of a blowout now in the scoreline after an intense game. The tiring Manly defence, down to 12 men, couldn't contain Vinnie Anderson screaming down the sideline. Webb in support, scores under the posts. Faumuina adds the extra points. Warriors 28-4
77th min: TRY - Watmough for Sea Eagles. A soft try let through the tired Warriors defence. The Sea Eagles not giving in and waiting for the final whistle. Great support play by the Manly side to get Watmough over. Walker takes the quick conversion. Warriors 28-10
FULL TIME: The Warriors finish with a flourish. A great second half performance.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - H Fa'afili (Warriors) 2 - E Lauaki (Warriors) 1 - V Anderson (Warriors) -----------------------------------------Like