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The Warriors have made a turnaround after a six-match losing streak, tonight defeating Cronulla-Sutherland 12-2 and keeping their opposition tryless in absolutely atrocious conditions at Toyota Park.
The game started in absolute gale force winds and it took ten minutes for any points to be registered, a Warriors try to five-eighth Michael Witt, which he himself converted to give the visitors a six point lead. The only remaining points until the 73rd minute came from a 37th minute penalty goal to Sharks winger Luke Covell.
The final points which wrapped a solid victory for the Warriors was a try in the final five minutes to besieged winger Manu Vautvei of a sensational kick by utility Nathan Fien.
Michael Witt and Steve Price were standouts for the Warriors in appalling conditions. The visitors tonight will be at home next Friday night as they are shown to Australia on Channel 9's match against the Panthers, while Cronulla head to Telstra Stadium next Sunday to face the Rabbitohs.
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary It's a wet, windy and very empty Toyota Park tonight for this match, a crucial one for the visiting Warriors side. There are a few changes to each side, the home side Cronulla omitting Mitch Brown, bringing in Misi Taulapapa in the #19 jersey.
The Warriors shuffle up is a little more unsettling, Tony Martin and Ruben Wiki will not play, with Epalahame Lauaki coming in as well as Todd Byrne. Simon Mannering will move to the centres with Byrne, Tuimaivave and Louis Anderson will come into the forward pack with centre Lance Hohaia also out of the match.
Teams on field.
0 min: We're underway at the moment, huge winds and rain at the moment. Incredible looking kickoff.
4 min: Some good early pressure from the Warriors, who have the wind at their backs.
7 min: Wasted chance by the Warriors as the ball goes touch-in-goal of their second straight set. This gets the Sharkies out of gaol.
14 min: Truly incredible scenes at Toyota Park. The rain and wind are huge and something surely that hasn't been seen at an NRL match in a very long time. Cronulla have just surrended possession on the Warriors line through a knock-on.
25 min: Both sides practicing some attack on the opposition line but neither putting points on recently. The rain has died down but the wind is still blowing, Kimmorley's kicking game in particular has been brilliant given the circumstances.
31 min: More sustained pressure from the Sharks yields no result with this time a poor kicking option easily diffused by fullback Wade McKinnon for the visitors.
37 min: PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland Sharks A penalty for Sharks winger Luke Covell, the gap reduced to four now. New Zealand Warriors 6-2
HALFTIME: New Zealand Warriors 6 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 2
41 min: Second half is underway.
54 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Warriors try... checking for obstruction. Decision Pending... NO TRY! Penalty for Cronulla.
60 min: After several opportunities at the Cronulla line, the Warriors have failed to successfully cross the line. They're looking dangerous but simply aren't getting across the stripe.
73 min: No luck for the Sharks in probably their best attacking chance tonight close to the line. Another low scoring one for the Warriors but this time looking the better team. 6 minutes remain for them to hold Cronulla out.
75 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Vatuvei caps the win for the New Zealand side late in the game with a try from a wonderful Nathan Fien kick. An absolutely sensational conversion from Michael Witt! New Zealand Warriors 12-2
FULLTIME: New Zealand Warriors 12 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 2