Warriors grind out victory in Newcastle

Not the prettiest win, however on a sunny Newcastle afternoon the Warriors have kept the Knights scoreless in the 2nd half to defeat the home side by 25-16 in front of a crowd of 18,158.

Both sides felt the pressure making uncharacteristic errors at crucial times to turn the match into a very even battle. The Knights held the lead at the break by 16-12.

Early possession in the match favoured the Newcastle side who looked to settle into the game quickly with an early try to Wes Naiqama. 20 minutes into the match Manu Vatuvei crossed for the Warriors with a trademark try from a high kick only to have Mullen hit back straight away for the Knights. A try apiece before the break, 1 to Hohaia for the Warriors, and right on halftime one for Shannon McDonnell giving the Knights the lead.

The second half saw the weight of possession starting to favour the Newcastle side and somehow the scrambling defence of the Warriors, at times very scrappy, held them out from crossing the line and scoring and ultimately the old saying ' Defence wins games' could not be more true.

Some individual brilliance by Kevin Locke, late in the match, saw the scoreline blow out a little. Firstly he made a good break to set up Maloney for the first points in the 2nd half in 73rd minute. And 3 minutes later his offload to Mara getting Hohaia across the line for his 2nd try of the match. A field goal by Maloney sealing the victory for the visitors 25-16, as the Club celebrating their 400th NRL game with a victory away.

Injuries to Lewis Brown and Junior Sau causing concern for the 2 sides.

Match Details
Newcastle Knights 16 were defeated by New Zealand Warriors 25
National Rugby League - Round 10 - Sunday May 15, 2011 2:00pm
Venue: Ausgrid Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Luke Potter
Crowd: 18,158
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 16 New Zealand Warriors 12

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Kevin Locke
2 Points - James Maloney (1 Try, 4 Conversions, 1 Field Goal)
1 Point - Jarrod Mullen (1 Try)

Newcastle Knights (16)
Tries: Wes Naiqama, Jarrod Mullen, Shannon McDonnell
Conversions: Wes Naiqama (2/3)

New Zealand Warriors (25)
Tries: Lance Hohaia (2), Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney
Field Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (4/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary CHANGES: Warriors #3 Lewis Brown to BENCH, #23 Shaun Berrigan IN at CENTRE, #17 Ukuma Ta'ai OUT, #16 Mara to HOOKER.
CHANGES: Knights #14 De Gois, #16 Paterson and #17 Tolar all OUT. #18 Mark Taufua, #19 Marvin Karawana and #20 Marvin Filipo are the new faces on the bench. The starting side is 1-13.
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1 min: Match underway at Ausgrid Stadium!
5 min: TRY
TRY Newcastle Knights
Scored by Wes Naiqama. Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama successful.
Tyrone Roberts with the break down the park and eventually the try comes the way of Naiqama, the Warriors on the back foot. Naiqama converts his own try.
Newcastle Knights 6-0
11 min: Another sensational break from Roberts has the Knights on the attack again. The Warriors concede a penalty here, another set for Newcastle.
13 min: Ouch. Houston spills it for the Knights just as they were looking likely to break through the concerning Warriors defence. Relieving scrum feed for the visiting side on their own 10m line.
16 min: The Warriors now with a good chance to attack. The Newcastle defence is holding quite well at the moment, but the visitors do force a knock-on off a fifth tackle high-ball. Line dropout, Newcastle to defend another set here.
20 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
Taylor kicks, big Manu leaps high and beats Akuila Uate and gets it down in the corner! Maloney's sideline conversion is superb. Scores level!
6 all
23 min: TRY
TRY Newcastle Knights
Scored by Jarrod Mullen. Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama unsuccessful.
Superb break down the right from Wes Naiqama who dodges numerous defenders before finding a stampeding Jarrod Mullen. He gets across the line to score - Naiqama doesn't convert though.
Newcastle Knights 10-6
26 min: VIDEO REFEREE possible Knights try...
28 min: No Try - Knights. The Knights ripping apart the soft defence of the visitors. The video ref deems a knock on close to the line as Sau crosses the line.
30 min: TRY
The Warriors return the favour, cruising thru the Knights defence to put Hohaia into space to score.
New Zealand Warriors 12-10
33 min: A mistae 30 metres out from the Knights line gives the home side great field position. The Warriors defence a bit more composed and holding out the attack.
37 min: A pin point kick by Mullen to the wing oF Vatuvei and Uate saw the two giants both up in the air with the ball back of Uate on the 5th tackle which the Warriors snuffle out.
40 min: Video ref checking a possible knock on in a Knights try.
40 min: TRY
The Warriors defence stops expecting the whistle to blow and McDonnell says thanks very much and runs 20 metres to score.
Newcastle Knights 16-12
40 min: Halftime: An even contest, both sides allowing the opposition in with unforced errors. Knights lead at the break with a late try in the half, 16-12.
41 min: The Knights get the second half underway.
44 min: A solid start by the two sides. Berrigan missing a tackle allows the Knights good yardage out wide, stopped by a great tackle by Locke. A 4th tackle kick had Locke scrambling back to cover the kick well.
48 min: Sloppy play by both sides has possession see-sawing at present. Good pressure by the teams in defence
50 min: A fifth tackle kick by Mullen had Inu under pressure. A knock on by the Knights allows the turn over.
57 min: The Knights being helped by Warriors mistakes and starting to gain a lot of possession.
59 min: A penalty for the Knights 10 metres out from their line.
59 min: NO TRY - Knights player held up on the 3rd tackle. Locke did an amazing job over the line.
61 min: Scrum for the Knights 10 metres out from their line following mistake by the Warriors.
61 min: LINE DROPOUT - Knights. The Warriors defence holding, but for how long.
63 min: 5th tackle kick by Mullen out to Uate is taken cleanly by Brown who now leaves the field injured.
64 min: Scrum to the Warriors 10 metres out from their line, but another mistake hands over possession.
65 min: Sau also leaving the field injured.
70 min: Warriors finally with a bit of decent ball look dangerous, but the Knights defence holds well.
73 min: TRY
Locke taking the ball up from a long kick, gets thru 4 defenders to put a flying Maloney into the gap.
New Zealand Warriors 18-16
76 min: TRY
Another Locke offload this time gets Mara into the gap past the tiring defence this time, backed up by Hohaia who grabs his 2nd try of the match.
New Zealand Warriors 24-16
77 min: Kick off by the Knights is out on the full.
79 min: FIELD GOAL
Fifth tackle option for the Warriors is sealed by Maloney.
New Zealand Warriors 25-16
80 min: FULLTIME: A very close game with the Warriors pullling away in the end by 25-16.

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