Warriors come from behind to take out Tigers in a thriller

THE New Zealand Warriors have pulled off a stunning come-from-behind victory to defeat the West Tigers 22-20 in front of a 27,109 crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium this evening.

A Krisnan Inu try in the 78th minute handed the Warriors the lead for the first time in the match and Ivan Cleary's side had no problem riding it home from there.

But the Warriors were not always sitting pretty, the visitors fumbled their way through the first half before producing a powerful second half performance to knock the Tigers out of the finals race.

There was not seperating the two sides early in the match with both teams playing mistake free football and making good meters in their opening sets.

However, a few penalties and errors by the Warriors saw the Tigers go on the front foot as the half progressed.

The Tigers drew first blood in the 15th minute when monster prop Keith Galloway muscled his way over the try line.

A spate of possession following the try ensured the Tigers stayed on top and saw Benji Marshall slice through the Warriors' defence to score in the 243rd minute.

The Warriors finally got on the scoreboard in the 27th minute after a brilliant dummy half run from Kevin Locke created a try for five-eighth James Maloney.

However a few mistakes and some poor last tackle options handed the Tigers prime field position and that was all Robbie Farrah needed in the 36th minute when he dove from dummy half to score.

The Warriors finally received their first penalty in the 48th minute and the momentum of the game began to sway. Feleti Mateo kicked off the comeback in the 49th minute when he scooted over to score after a brilliant short pass from Shaun Johnson.

However a dropped ball from Aaron Heremaia on the back of the try put the pressure back on the Warriors. Back to back penalties over the next passage of play enabled the Tigers to add to their total in the 56th minute courtesy of a Marshall penalty goal.

But it was to be the only points the Tigers scored for the half, as the Warriors took control of the match. A James Maloney break in the 67th minute put the Warriors in prime field position enabling Lance Hohaia to run from dummy half to score. Maloney added the extras to put his side within two-points of the lead.

The Tigers were given several opportunities to extend their lead in the final ten, however the Warriors just displayed more desperation while their opponents tried to produce flashy plays.

A knock on by Benji Marshall in the 76th minute after he was caught with the ball on the last on halfway presented the Warriors with the opportunity they needed. A cross field kick by James Maloney in the 78th minute was too much for Lote Tuqiri and Krisnan Inu to pluck out of the air. But Inu was given a second chance after the ball hit the ground and scored the match winning try.

While coach Ivan Cleary will be thrilled with the victory he has some work ahead of him to prepare his side for next week. There is no doubt the Warriors have the talent and tenacity to make the Grand Final but they will need to improve their discipline and on line defence to take down the Storm.

Match Details
Wests Tigers 20 were defeated by New Zealand Warriors 22
National Rugby League - Finals Week 2 - Friday September 16, 2011 7:45pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Jared Maxwell
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead and Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Ricky MacFarlane
Crowd: 27,109
Halftime: Wests Tigers 18 New Zealand Warriors 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Shaun Johnson
2 Points - Kevin Locke
1 Point - James Maloney (1 Try, 3 Conversions)

WESTS TIGERS (20)
Tries: Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Keith Galloway
Field Goals: Benji Marshall (0/1)
Conversions: Benji Marshall (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Benji Marshall (1/1)

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (22)
Tries: Lance Hohaia, Feleti Mateo, Krisnan Inu, James Maloney
Conversions: James Maloney (3/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening ladies and gents and welcome to the Sydney Football Stadium for tonight's clash between the West Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors.
Both coaches have made some late changes to their sides. For the Tigers Mitch Brown is out and will be replaced by Matt Utai. For the Warriors Russell Packer moves into the starting side at prop with Sam Rapira moving to the bench, Lance Hohaia starts at hooker with Aaron Heremaia moving to the bench and Ukuma Ta'ai will start in the back row, with Feleti Mateo shifting to the bench.
In the Toyota Cup the Cronulla Sharks have defeated the Sydney Roosters 14-4 in a close match.
1 min: Shane Hayne blows time on to bring us under way at the SFS.
1 min: Nice opening set by the Warriors, Johnson found space with his kick on the last. Moltzen picked it up on his own ten before running back to the 20.
2 min: A try went begging there for the Tigers, Benji Marshall made a great break on the third but wayward pass saw the pressure come off the Warriors.
3 min: A good set for the Warriors finishes off with an error in the play the ball by Inu after the fifth tackle. Scrum to the Tigers 30 out from their own line.
5 min: A bad kick by Farrah at the end off the set enables Locke to take the kick on the full in his own in goal for a tap 20.
6 min: Maloney boots it down the field on the last and it bounces out ten meters out from the Tigers line.
9 min: The Tigers will get a piggyback out of their own half after the Warriors are penalised for holding down a tackled player.
9 min: The Tigers will get a piggyback out of their own half after the Warriors are penalised for holding down a tackled player.
10 min: Good defence by the Warriors sees the Tigers fail to threaten at the end of their set.
11 min: A good set by the Warriors after Inu broke the line on the third, but Maloney put a little too much on his kick on the fifth and it goes dead in goal.
12 min: The Tigers will get a line dropout after Vatuvai is forced to bat a Benji Marshall kick dead.
12 min: The decision has been reversed by video ref Sean Hampstead, it's a tap 20, Vatuvai missed the ball.
13 min: Locke loses the ball on the Tigers' 40 just as the Warriors look to be creating something.
14 min: The Tigers get their second penalty of the night and should go on the attack here.
16 min: TRY
TRY! Some good dummy half service from Farrah enables Galloway to go one on one with Hohaia and take him with him over the try line. Marshall has no problem converting the goal from right in front.
Wests Tigers 6-0
17 min: Good set by the Tigers to back up the try, Marshall attempts a kick and chase on the last but Maloney is just able to gather the ball in 15 out from his own line.
18 min: Tigers get another penalty, Tigers are right on the front foot here.
19 min: The Tigers will get a line dropout after Kevin Locke was forced to take Benji Marshall's kick dead.
22 min: TRY
TRY! Benji Marshall just slices through the defence from a few meters out and dives over to score.Marshall converts his own try.
Wests Tigers 12-0
23 min: Tigers get their fourth penalty of the night, the Warriors are in it deep at the moment.
24 min: Brilliant work by Kevin Locke to get back into the field of play after a Farrah grubber into the in goal will see the Warriors get the ball for the first time in 5 sets.
26 min: Lui loses the ball 40 out from his own try line and this is what the Warriors needed.
27 min: TRY
TRY! Brilliant break out of dummy half by Kevin Locke creates an opportunity, he passes to Maloney who flicks it in the air before regathering and racing away to score. Maloney adds the extras.
Wests Tigers 12-6
29 min: A fantastic set by Warriors culminates in a good kick by Maloney which rolls into the in goal, Moltzen gathers it only to be tackled on his own ten.
30 min: Captain Simon Mannering saves the day for his side after the Tigers run it on the last and it goes through about 6 sets of hands before Mannering dives on the loose ball.
32 min: Tigers are trapped in their own ten on the third.
32 min: Marshall is forced to kick it from his own 30 on the last, he does well to drill it down field and into space, Locke picks it up in his own ten and runs it back to his 30.
33 min: The Warriors will get a line drop out after Beau Ryan is forced to take Shaun Johnson's kick dead.
34 min: The Tigers are off the hook after a poor pass from Shaun Johnson ends up loose on the ground, Ayshford lands on the loose ball and races down the field and being tackled just short of halfway.
37 min: TRY
TRY! Farrah dives straight over from dummy half. Marshall converts the try.
Wests Tigers 18-6
38 min: We have a streaker on the field! Pretty dumb thing to do considering that at the SFS that results in a pretty hefty fine.
39 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Marshall attempts a field goal and is waved away, however it was touched in flight by Mannering so the Tigers will get a line drop out.
Wests Tigers 18-6
40 min: Mannering dives on a loose ball to take his team of the hook and that's the half.
41 min: The second half is under way!
41 min: The Tigers spread it out wide on the last before Lawrence puts a kick up 30 meters out from the Warriors line however Locke is there to take the ball.
42 min: Warriors are right on the attack on the last after a break by Matelino.
43 min: Johnson puts up a cross field kick on the last and Vatuvei is able to gather the ball but Beau Ryan is there to tackle him into touch.
44 min: The Tigers spread it out wide through Marshall before Lawrence passes to Tuqiri who loses the ball 40 out from the Warriors' line.
45 min: Maloney grubbers into the in goal and it goes straight to Ayshford.
47 min: The Warriors will get a piggyback up the field after they received their first penalty of the night.
48 min: The Warriors will get another penalty and six again from ten out after the Tigers concede a penalty on the fifth tackle for a strip.
50 min: TRY
TRY! A beautiful short ball from Shaun Johnson puts Feleti Mateo in space and the scoots over the try line. Maloney adds the extras from right in front.
Wests Tigers 18-12
51 min: Heremaia loses the ball trying to play it and the Tigers will get a scrum 30 out from the try line.
53 min: Farrah attempts a grubber into the in goal on the last but Packer dives on the ball from a meter out.
54 min: Tigers get a penalty in their own 20 and should go on the attack at the end of their set.
55 min: The Tigers get a penalty 20 out from the Warriors line and will go for the two.
56 min: PENALTY GOAL
Marshall has no problems kicking the penalty goal to take the Tigers lead out to 8.
Wests Tigers 20-12
60 min: The Warriors receive a penalty on the last 40 out from the Tigers' line. This is the chance they need.
61 min: Johnson puts up a cross field kick on the last but Tuqiri has no problem diffusing the kick in goal. Tap 20 for the Tigers.
65 min: The Warriors get a penalty on their own 20.
68 min: TRY
Try! James Maloney makes a half break before being tackled then a quick play the ball enables Hohaia to run over from dummy half. Maloney converts the try to make it a two-point ball game.
Wests Tigers 20-18
69 min: The Tigers will get a piggyback out of their own half after the Warriors concede a penalty. Hash call there, Utai dropped it cold.
73 min: Feleti Mateo is penalised for tackling Moltzen without the ball 40 out from the Tigers line.
74 min: Another penalty against the Warriors, the Tigers will go right on the attack now.
74 min: Fulton loses the ball 15 out from the Warriors' line. The Warriors are showing a lot more desperation at the moment.
76 min: The Tigers try and run it on the last from halfway, the ball exchanges hands before Marshall knocks it on after going to ground.
77 min: Possible try to the Warriors here.
78 min: TRY
TRY! Johnson puts up a crossfield kick on the last and Inu and Tuqiri are there to compete for the ball, neither are able to pluck it out of the air and Tuqiri loses the ball, Inu grabs it and reaches out for the try line only to miss by a few centre-meters. Moltzen attempts to snatch the ball from Inu and In reaches for the line again and scores. Maloney fails to convert.
New Zealand Warriors 22-20
79 min: The Warriors complete their first set after the try.
80 min: The Warriors hold on! That's the game, the Warriors just wanted it more in the second half.

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