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Match Summary The Warriors have posted their first win of Season 08 with an impressive 30-16 win over Parramatta at Mt Smart Stadium today.
The Eels dominated in the early exchanges, and it took a mid-half drinks break for the Warriors to click into gear.
Two quick-fire tries to winger Manu Vatuvei and halfback Grant Rovelli set the platform for an impressive showing of dominance from the Warriors over the next sixty minutes.
Going into the mid-half break six-nil down courtesy of an Eric Grothe try, the Warriors immediately turned on the 'razzle dazzle' style of play that they are renowned for, offloading the ball left, right and centre in an exciting movement that left them five out from the Eels line when the ball was finally grounded. Some long passing along the line on the next play found the ball in the hands of Vatuvei who planted down in the corner.
Two minutes later and the Warriors were in again, following some enterprising play by Rovelli who put a short grubber through on the last 35 out from the Eels line. The ball hit legs and bounced up into the hands of Jerome Ropati who passed back on the inside for Rovelli to score under the posts.
The Warriors continued to pressure and looked to have scored again following what looked like a set play off a scrum in the 35th minute, only for Lance Hohaia to have been ruled offside.
The score remained at 12-6 going into half time, and despite the Warriors dominating, the Eels were by no means out of this match. They did, however, need to be the first to post points in the second half.
Which they did, thanks to some coach-killing play from Vatuvei, who lost the ball cold ten out from his own line. The Eels took full advantage of their field position, with five eighth Feleti Mateo firing a massive pass out to Joel Reddy on the wing to score.
That was, however, the last real chance the Eels had to put points on the board until the dying minutes of the game as the Warriors once again dominated the possession and field position, resulting in three tries in the space of seven minutes.
Vatuvei collected his second of the afternoon in the 54th minute, despite almost losing the ball on the way to the ground. Two minutes later and Brent Tate had his first in Warriors colours. Evarn Tuimavave rounded off the Warriors scoresheet with a try under the posts following brilliant lead-up work from Vatuvei.
The Eels scored a consolation try to Burt in the dying seconds, but it was a case of too little, too late.
Match Details Round 2 - Full Time :: March 23rd, 2008 2:00pm Venue: Mt Smart Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne
New Zealand Warriors 30 Tries: Manu Vatuvei (2), Grant Rovelli, Brent Tate, Evarn Tuimavave Goals: Michael Witt (5/5)
Parramatta Eels 16 Tries: Eric Grothe, Joel Reddy, Luke Burt Goals: Luke Burt (2/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Lance Hohaia 2 Points: Brent Tate 1 Point: Manu Vatuvei
Live Commentary Good afternoon all and welcome to Mt Smart Stadium here in Auckland for this Easter Sunday clash between the Warriors and the Parramatta Eels. Both these teams experience relatively slow starts to season 08 - the Warriors had the mountainous task of taking on Melbourne down at the Telstra Dome and, as expected when teams travel down there, weren't able to come away with the points. The loss compounded by the fact they lost Captain Steve Price to injury. The Eels, found themselves down 20-0 at halftime against the less-favoured Bulldogs last week, but were able to click into gear and post a record comeback to win 28-20. Souring the win was the loss of the ever-cheerful Krisnan Inu to injury, however Jarryd Hayne returns to the team after his club-imposed suspension so the Eels won't lose much there.
Team Changes: Warriors: For the home team, Fullback Aiden Kirk is out of the team, with bench utility Lance Hohaia coming into the custodian role to replace him. Ian Henderson is the new man on the bench. Eels: A big blow for the Eels with Nathan Hindmarsh out of this match. Weller Hauraki scores his first run-on start of his career, with Joe Galuvao rounding out the 17 on the bench.
A beautiful day here for football, with the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. Both teams are now out on the field, and the Eels will get first use of the ball.
0 min: Shayne Hayne blows time on and Michael Witt gets us underway.
2 min: Good start by both teams, each making over 50 metres in attack with their first set.
3 min: Great pressure by Michael Luck has forced Brett Finch to kick out on the full, and the Warriors will get the first field position of the day.
4 min: A great chip to the corner by Rovelli is knocked on by Vatuvei and the Eels are let off the hook early.
5 min: The Eels immediately went back on the counter-attack following a nice run down the sideline by Tautai, only for Finch to try to force an offload and hand possession back to the Warriors.
8 min: Joel Reddy knocks on a relatively simple pass, and Warriors will once again go on the attack in Eels territory.
9 min: PENALTY - Eels: Vatuvei once again can't handle the ball and hands it over to Brett Finch, who races down the sideline before being caught by Hohaia. Hohaia then goes on with the tackle, throwing Finch over the sideline and gives away the penaly.
10 min: PENALTY - Eels: The Warriors give away a second successive penalty, this one for hands on the ball in the ruck. Cayless indicates they'll take the two.
11 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels Luke Burt kicks the penalty and the Eels will play from in front.
Parramatta Eels 2-0
12 min: Parramatta lose the ball 35 out from their own line and the Warriors will have a chance to strike back.
14 min: Brent Tate kicks ahead and the ball comes off a Parramatta player before going into touch. Referee Hayne indicates the Eels player didn't play at the ball and the Eels will get the ball back. Warriors looking very disorganised in attack so far today.
18 min: PENALTY - Eels: Following a great kick chase from the Warriors, Vatuvei gives away the penalty for now standing square at the play-the-ball.
19 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Following the penalty, the Eels made massive metres up the middle of the field before passing out wide to Eric Grothe on the last to plant the ball down in the corner. Luke Burt's conversion attempt hits the upright and is waved away. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 6-0
20 min: Eels well in control of this match as we pause for a drinks break on what must be a hot day in Auckland.
23 min: VIDEO REF - Possible Warriors Try...
23 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The drinks break appears to have worked wonders for the Warriors as they turn on the razzle dazzle that they are renowned for, keeping the ball alive in a sweeping backline movement that travels 30 metres downfield and involving about a thousand sets of hands before finally being taken to ground 5 out from the Eels line. On the next play the Warriors spread it out wide for Vatuvei to score in the corner. The conversion attempt from the sideline by Michael Witt is an absolute beauty. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt successful. 6 all
26 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The Warriors go back-to-back through a great last tackle play from halfback Grant Rovelli. Rovelli grubbers the ball through the line on the last, where it collects an Eels leg and bounces up for Jerome Ropati who then passes back on the inside for Rovelli to race away and score under the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt successful. New Zealand Warriors 12-6
28 min: Warriors looking ominous as they go 78 metres on the set following the restart thanks to a bust down the sideline by Brent Tate, and are now looking to keep Parramatta pinned down on their line.
29 min: PENALTY - Eels: A relieving penalty for Parramatta, as the Warriors look well in control of this match.
30 min: PENALTY - Warriors: The Warriors finally get their first penalty of the game. Following a chip down the sideline by Feleti Mateo, Hohaia collects the ball and is about to be thrown over the sideline before launching the ball back for Patrick Ah Van, who is then held down in the tackle by Reddy, giving away the penalty.
34 min: Finch kicks the ball out on the full for the second time today, and the Warriors will begin their set on the Eels 40 metre line.
35 min: VIDEO REF - Possible Warriors Try...
35 min: NO TRY - Penalty Eels Following the scrum win, Witt kicks behind the line for Hohaia. Burt gets to it first, but loses the ball under pressure from Hohaia. Tate then collects the ball and goes for the line but loses it just before under heavy pressure from the Eels defence. Video Ref Tim Mander rules Hohaia was offside at the kick and the Eels get the penalty.
39 min: Vatuvei passes the ball to no-one 10 out from his own line and the Eels will get one last opportunity before the break.
40 min: Todd Lowrie crashes over for a try, only to be denied by a forward pass from Mateo.
HALF TIME - Warriors 12 lead Parramatta 6 It's half time here at Mt Smart Stadium and, following a slow and disorganised start by the home team, the Warriors have rallied with two quick tries to lead the Parramatta Eels 12 points to 6.
40 min: And Luke Burt gets the second half underway.
41 min: PENALTY - Eels: Parramatta get an easy ride away from their line after Burt is tackled in mid-air.
42 min: Both teams making errors early in the half. Jarryd Hayne guilty of coughing it up coming out of his own territory. while Sonny Fai then loses control deep on attack.
44 min: Vatuvei continues proving his reputation as a heart-stopper, first making a very flat, hospital pass a metre out from his line to Hohaia, and then losing the ball running from dummy half on the next play. Parramatta in fantastic field position.
46 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Vatuvei's errors prove costly as Mateo fires a massive pass out to the wing for Reddy to dot down in the corner. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 12-10
48 min: A quick set full of dummy-half runs finds the Warriors just into Eels territory where a poor 5th tackle kick from Rovelli hands possession cheaply back to the Eels.
50 min: Vatuvei shows why he also has a reputation as a damaging and game-breaking player as he fields an Eels bomb and then embarks on a barging 30 metre run before behind rounded up.
50 min: PENALTY - Warriors: Joe Galuvao holds down in the tackle and the Warriors will have a fresh set in Eels territory.
51 min: PENALTY - Warriors: The ball gets stripped from Vatuveis arms 5 out from the line and the Warriors will have another full set on attack.
53 min: Ah Van gets caught with the ball on the last and the Eels hold strong in defence.
53 min: An error on just the second tackle hands possession back to the Warriors 20 out from the Eels line.
54 min: VIDEO REF - Possible Warriors Try...
54 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors A nice grubber to the in-goal bounces up for Vatuvei who, despite over-running the ball and almost fumbling it on the way down, plants the ball on the ground to increase the Warriors lead and continue his reputaion as a Rugby League enigma. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt successful. New Zealand Warriors 18-10
57 min: VIDEO REF - Possible Warriors Try...
57 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The Warriors go back-to-back with their tries once again with Brent Tate collecting his first try in Warriors colours. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt successful. New Zealand Warriors 24-10
59 min: Referee Hayne pauses play for the players to have their second half drinks break. Parramatta will need to take as much advantage of this break as possible as they have just two interchanges remaining for the match, whereas the Warriors have four.
61 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The play has gone from one end of the field to the other in a matter of seconds as Parramatta run the ball on the last tackle through Finch, who passes out for Hayne to then chip ahead. the ball is gathered in by Hohaia who then passes onto the chest of a rampaging Manu Vatuvei who charges his way 50 metres downfield before being gathered in by the defence. On the very next play the ball is passed to Evarn Tuimavave who strolls right through the line without a hand being laird on him and scores under the posts. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt successful. New Zealand Warriors 30-10
63 min: PENALTY - Warriors: Nathan Cayless infringes in the play the ball and invites the Warriors to start yet another set of six inside the Eels half.
64 min: Rovelli chips the ball out to Vatuvei's wing, where Vatuvei soars high in the air and taps the ball down for Ropati to score the try, however Referee Hayne calls it back for a knock on in-goal and the Eels get off the hook.
65 min: PENALTY - Eels: A relieving penalty for the Eels, who get the chance to go on attack deep in the Warriors half for the first time in a while.
71 min: An un-happy afternoon for the Eels continues as a promising play down the sideline is pulled back for a forward pass from Mateo to Tautai
74 min: The Warriors look to have taken their foot off the accelerator as their past two sets in attack have died on the last play through poor options.
75 min: PENALTY - Eels: The Eels will get another chance to try and put some consolation points on the board as they get a penalty which will give them a full set deep in the Warriors half.
77 min: A forward pass from Simon Mannering denies Vatuvei a third try for the afternoon.
78 min: A long pass from Finch is knocked down by Mannering going for the intercept, and the Eels will get one last chance to post some points on the board.
79 min: TRY Parramatta Eels A nice second man play from the Eels puts Burt into space and he scores the consolation points under the posts. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. New Zealand Warriors 30-16
FULL TIME - Warriors 30 def Parramatta 16 It's full time here in Auckland and the Warriors have posted their first win of the season, dispatching the Parramatta Eels to the tune of 30 points to 16.