Tupou hat-trick puts the Sharks to the sword

The New Zealand Warriors have given the Cronulla Sharks a rugby league lesson in a 37-10 thrashing at Toyota Park tonight in front of 7,510 hearty souls.

It started off scrappily with both sides trying to dominate the other but Brent Tate would open the scoring, swooping on some lazy defence to give the Warriors a 6-0 lead. Nathan Gardener and Trent Barrett combined to bring the game back to a deadlock. James Maloney though would kick his side ahead 14-6 at halftime, when he scored following a Heremaia break and kicking a penalty goal right on halftime.

The second half would be all New Zealand though, wearing their retro 1995 strip with Joel Moon scoring a controversial benefit of the doubt try after it couldn't be determined that Vatuvei touched the ball. Bill Tupou would score his first try in the NRL when he finished off a nice backline movement, following it up ten minutes later with his second after a Maloney cut-out pass.

A football can do some funny things and it produced one of those moments when it pinballed around from a Aiton kick for ironically Aiton to pick up the scraps to give Cronulla their second and only try of the second half. Tupou would seal his hat-trick when he took an errant ball from his namesake Anthony Tupou to cap a memorable game.

James Maloney would finish off a pretty good game, practicing his field goals for a later time where they might be needed to make the final score 37-10, keeping the Warriors holding onto their position in the top eight.

Match Details
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10 were defeated by New Zealand Warriors 37
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 22 - Saturday August 7, 2010 7:30pm
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Steve Lyons and Chris James
Video Referee: Chris Ward
Touch Judges: Jeff Younis and Luke Potter
Crowd: 7,510
Halftime: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 6 New Zealand Warriors 14

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - James Maloney (1 Try, 5 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Bill Tupou (3 Tries)
1 Point - Paul Gallen

Tries: Paul Aiton, Trent Barrett
Conversions: Luke Covell (1/2)

Tries: Brent Tate, Joel Moon, James Maloney, Bill Tupou (3)
Field Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (5/6)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary It's a cold winters night and we have a game on at Toyota Park between the struggling Cronulla Sharks and the New Zealand Warriors who will be looking to solidify their top eight positon with a win tonight. Earlier the Sharks won the U20s 31 points to 24.
The Cronulla Sharks are 1 through to 17 without changes, while the Warriors have a few changes with Heremaia and Henderson swapping roles, with the latter starting. Jacob Lillyman and Sam Rapira come onto the bench for Latimore and Jesse Royal.
1 min: Cronulla have kicked off and here we go. They are undisciplined in the first set and concede a penalty.
6 min: We have a downtown penalty for the night, with Maloney judged to be offside off his own kick? i don't understand it either.
9 min: The Warriors have been resolute thus far in defence and are looking quite dashing in their 1995 style jerseys.
11 min: Some more luck for the Sharks here, with a Warriors hand touching the ball gifting them another set.
12 min: Trent Barrett has flashbacks of his glory days, going himself after Gardener exploded from an offload but like in his glory days Barrett dropped it. Luckily Cronulla got a penalty for the Warriors being offside.
14 min: Cronulla can't do anything with the ball though, dropping it after some good defence from the Warriors.
15 min: John Morris showing why he has been at a few clubs with a simple error from dummy-half, he tries to reason with the referee for a strip but no dice.
17 min: Brent Tate might of got the scoring underway at Toyota Park.
18 min: TRY
James Maloney puts in a nice grubber which looks to be too long but two Sharks defenders are caught ball watching, with Brent Tate swooping in to score. Maloney has no troubles besides the posts.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
19 min: Not square bellows the referee, drawing a penalty again against Cronulla. New Zealand have a whole set in Sharks territory.
21 min: Paul Gallen gets a rare one go his way, with a strip by Ian Henderson unfortunately Joel Moon was in the tackle too, so he's penalised.
25 min: TRY
Trent Barrett and Nathan Gardener link up again, as Gardener burst into the backfield again but draws Hohaia and gives it to Barrett who goes over. Luke Covell levels the scoreboard with a relatively easy conversion.
6 all
33 min: TRY
Aaron Heremaia fresh on the field, scoots from dummy-half and finds open pasture before sending his five-eighth James Maloney in for a try right under the sticks. Maloney converts his own try easily.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
35 min: It's been an up tempo first half with both sides showing some enterprise in attack but the Auckland boys are edging it currently.
38 min: The Warriors are caught offside again, giving Cronulla one more opportunity before oranges.
39 min: Paul Gallen puts in probably the best kick from a Cronulla half in the first fourty to earn his side a repeat set.
40 min: Barrett tries a run around then a kick for his backline but Seymour charges it down and hands it off to Moon to set off downfield. He can't get far before he is caught though and plays it to Vatuvei who draws a penalty from a launching tackle by Luke Covell. The brainstrust opt for the penalty close to halftime.
and Maloney steps up and slots it.
New Zealand Warriors 14-6
41 min: While both teams make their way back onto the field, New Zealand have completed 100% of their sets in the first half (17/17) pretty good but Cronulla will get some more ball in the second half but will they do anything with it? time will tell. Maloney gets the second half going.
43 min: The Warriors just steamrolled their way downfield with some second phase play and strong running. Maloney dabs it in-goal forcing Gardener to bat the ball dead. Repeat set to New Zealand.
44 min: Maloney tries to the crossfield kick to Manu which has brought them success but not this time as he knocks it on.
46 min: A delayed call of strip on Joel Moon there with several defenders in the tackle. Penalty to the Warriors.
Possible try to the New Zealanders here.
49 min: TRY
The video referee can't really see if Vatuvei has touched the ball and has given it benefit of the doubt to the attacking side. Joel Moon picked up the scraps from a Maloney bomb on fifth tackle. From the touchline, Maloney places it, walks in, strikes it well and it goes over the black dot.
New Zealand Warriors 20-6
50 min: James Maloney launches a huuuugge bomb for the young fullback Gardener with two defenders storming down on him, forcing him to drop the ball.
52 min: TRY
Some nice work from the Auckland Warriors here, with some backline movement to Tate who sucked in several defenders, handing it off to Tupou who scores his first try in the national rugby league. Maloney from the other touchline, kicks it again.
New Zealand Warriors 26-6
55 min: Nathan Gardener shows the patience of a chess champion, allowing the ball to roll and roll until it hit the whitewash for the 20 metre restart.
57 min: Bill Tupou guarenteeing himself a spot on the footy show next week, using his head to defuse a bomb from Cronulla.
58 min: The Warriors refuse to remove themselves from the ruck and concede a needless penalty.
60 min: Trent Barrett tries to fire a long ball to his winger but Joel Moon intercepts the ball and eyes the tryline but he is caught by a quick-recovering Gardener. New Zealand get a repeat set with Pomeroy trying to emulate Moon's effort but dropping the ball.
62 min: TRY
Some clinical movement from the Warriors with Maloney throwing a nice cut-out to Bill Tupou who gets his second try in first grade. Maloney misses his first for the night, kicking it wide.
New Zealand Warriors 30-6
63 min: Clever play from Cronulla from the kick-off, getting it back via Ferguson and they'll go on the attack. Barrett though is met in a ball and all tackle to kill the play.
65 min: Nathan Gardener is being peppered with bombs tonight but gets his side a penalty for the Warriors carrying on with the tackle too long.
67 min: Back to back penalties making it a 7-4 count in favour of the Sharks also giving them a chance to make the scoreline a tad more respectable.
68 min: Paul Gallen tries to force one pass too many, dropping the ball.
Cronulla could have only their second try of the night after the ball went pinballing.
73 min: TRY
The ball pinballs around off a short kick with Aiton picking up the scraps for a rare four pointer. Covell puts the conversion wide.
New Zealand Warriors 30-10
75 min: TRY
Bill Tupou has his hat-trick taking an errant ball from his namesake in the Sharks side, shrugging off Pomeroy to race in. Maloney has no problem with the kick from in front.
New Zealand Warriors 36-10
76 min: Cronulla try the short kick off again but it doesn't come off this time.
77 min: FIELD GOAL
Maloney gets some practice with a field goal from 40 metres out, slotting it easily.
New Zealand Warriors 37-10
80 min: Paul Gallen has been his sides best kicker tonight and tries another kick but it goes dead and thats fulltime.

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