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The Warriors have come back from 16-0 down at halftime to take a thrilling golden-point match 17-16 at Mt Smart. Stacey Jones calmly slotted a field-goal from close range to nab the victory in the 5th minute of extra-time.
A controversial call from the video referee saw Hohaia denied a try in the 7th minute, deemed to have spilt over the line. But it wasn't until the 18th minute that the scoring was opened. Sustained pressure on the Warriors line resulted in a casual Soliola try. Fitzgibbon's conversion put the Roosters 6-0 up.
Not five minutes later the margin was increased to 10. Possession swung back and forth as both sides committed numerous handling errors. The Roosters took advantage of a Warriors dropout, Anasta getting his arms free near the line to offload a flat ball to Shackleton who crashed over.
The Warriors squandered several attacking opportunities through unforced errors while the Roosters made the most of their field-position when they obtained it. The 36th minute saw Pearce dancing through a flat-footed and lethargic Warriors defense, he dotted down and Fitzgibbon converted to put the half-time score at 16-0.
The errors continued to flow in the 3rd quarter, both sides wasting good territory with simple mistakes.
Stacey Jones stepped up for his side and began to mount the comeback. He crossed the line for the Warriors' first scoring play in the 53rd minute, dummying and darting through for a classic Jones try.
It was the boot of Jones that set up the following two tries to bring the Warriors within two points. Two bombs to the left wing put Ropati and Vatuvei on the board and brought the score to 16-14.
In the 76th minute the Roosters gave away a penalty 30 metres out from their line. Price had no hesitation in pointing to the posts and Kemp slotted the kick over to tie the scores at 16-16.
Mt Smart received its first golden-point experience since 2004 and it was certainly one to remember. A good run and kick-chase from late inclusion Lance Hohaia gave the Warriors a scrum 10 metres out on attack. Jones waited until the last tackle to take a shot, at which point he calmly obliged, appropriately capping off a man-of-the-match performance in his comeback season.
Match Details New Zealand Warriors 17 def Sydney Roosters 16 Round 6 - Sunday, April 19th, 2009 12:00pm Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland Referee: Ben Cummins & Alan Shortall Sideline Officials: Adam Reid & Jeff Younis Video Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 16,309 Half Time: Roosters 16-0
New Zealand Warriors 17 Tries: Stacey Jones, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei Field Goals: Stacey Jones (1/1) Goals: Denan Kemp (2/4) Sydney Roosters 16 Tries: Iosia Soliola, Shane Shackleton, Mitchell Pearce Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (2/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Stacey Jones (Warriors) 2 Points: Michael Luck (Warriors) 1 Point: Nate Myles (Roosters)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
WARRIORS: 21. Lance Hohaia 2. Denan Kemp 11. Simon Mannering 4. Jerome Ropati 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Joel Moon 7. Stacey Jones 8. Sam Rapira 9. Ian Henderson 10. Steve Price (c) 17. Ben Matulino 12. Jacob Lillyman 13. Micheal Luck (vc) Interchange: 1. Patrick Ah Van 14. Nathan Fien 15. Russell Packer 16. Jesse Royal ROOSTERS: 1. Sam Perrett 19. Sonny Tuigamala 18. Ben Jones 16. Iosia Soliola 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Braith Anasta 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Frank Paul Nuuausala 9. James Aubusson 10. Mark O'Meley 11. Nate Myles 12. Craig Fitzgibbon 13. Shane Shackleton Interchange: 14. Lopini Paea 15. Willie Mason 17. Jake Friend 24. Jordan Tansey
Welcome to the coverage this afternoon from beautiful Mt Smart. It looks like a mild Auckland afternoon.
For the Roosters Waqa (wrist) and Sa (hip) are out, Tuigamala and Tansey come in.
For the Warriors Hohaia comes in at fullback for Ah Van, Mannering moves to centre in place of Kirk, and Matulino comes in to the second row.
Both teams are 2 and 3 and no doubt very keen for a win today to get back in the running. It looks to be an intriguing battle.
Toyota Cup: Warriors 22 Roosters 14
Roosters kicking off.
2 min: Attacking Scrum for the Roosters after the Warriors knock on.
3 min: The pressure is relieved straight away, Warriors scrum on their 20m.
4 min: Penalty Warriors for a high shot, they tap 20m out on attack.
5 min: Nothing comes of the first real attacking set, Vatuvei puts down a bomb on the last and the Roosters bring it out from their line.
6 min: Penalty Warriors and again they're on attack.
7 min: VIDEO REF: Hohaia busts through under the posts but did he lose it over the line?
7 min: NO TRY. Interesting call, Hohaia unlucky.
9 min: Scrum Roosters, Price knocks on 40m out from his line.
9 min: Penalty Roosters and they get they get their first chance at the Warriors' end. But Denan Kemp somehow comes up with it on the 2nd tackle and the Warriors have a penalty.
16 min: Attacking scrum for the Roosters, 30m out. Big Willie enters the arena for the first time.
17 min: Penalty Roosters 10 out, they take a tap. Ben Jones goes over but is held up.
18 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The Roosters step up the intensity with a couple of set attacking plays, some good passing gets to Soliola who canters over near the right wing. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 6-0
21 min: The Roosters' confidence seems to have multiplied after that try, they manage to trap Hohaia behind the try-line and the Warriors drop out.
22 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Anasta takes on the line and gets his arms free for an offload (forward?) to Shackleton who crashes over. Hohaia gets a good knock to the head and looks a bit dazed. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 10-0
25 min: Penalty Warriors. They kick to touch near halfway.
26 min: Penalty Warriors and Anasta is called out for a quick chin-wag. Warriors tap 20 out on attack.
27 min: Scrum Roosters and they are let off by a near-Falcon from Rapira.
30 min: The Roosters lose it 10 out from their line and the Warriors are on attack. But they are penalised straight away for an incorrect play-the-ball. Michael Luck not happy.
31 min: Scrum Roosters near halfway. Contentious knock-on call and the Mt Smart faithful let the two refs know about it.
33 min: A Roosters bomb is taken well by Ah Van on the try-line.
35 min: Penalty Warriors. They tap on halfway. But somehow the Roosters come up with it after one tackle.
36 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Some fantastic footwork from Pearce gets him over to extend the lead. Steps in and out of a lethargic Warriors defense and dots down with ease. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 16-0
41 min: We're off again and the Roosters have first ball this half.
Missed Tackles: Warriors 11 Roosters 4
43 min: Pearce puts up a cross-field bomb which is taken in-goal. Pearce stays down but no penalty is forthcoming so up he gets.
45 min: Bombs taken easily at both ends of the field. The Warriors bringing it out from their 20m.
48 min: Penalty Warriors. Moon taken late after kicking. They tap 20m out on attack.
49 min: Scrum Roosters. They are let off as Hohaia drops it cold on the 4th tackle.
51 min: Another incredible let-off for the Roosters. They get trapped with the ball on the 5th tackle but Moon knocks on.
52 min: Penalty Warriors. Obstruction was the call. They start 30m out on attack.
53 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Some vintage Stacey Jones. He dummys, dummys, keeps running round and over the line, dots down near the right wing. Conversion attempt by Denan Kemp successful. Sydney Roosters 16-6
57 min: Kemp comes very close to stealing an improbable try but the Roosters manage to ground it and will drop out.
61 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Stacey Jones goes right but bombs back to the left, Vatuvei somehow taps back to Ropati who scoops it up and dives over. It's back on! Conversion attempt by Denan Kemp unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 16-10
64 min: Scrum Roosters. Some exciting play from the Warriors down the left wing but Ropati knocks on. Hold on it's now a scrum the other way - Roosters mess up a play-the-ball.
65 min: Scrum Roosters. Again it's put down, 30m out from the Roosters line now.
67 min: A bomb with snow on it ends up in the hands of Jones off the Roosters and they start a set 10m out on attack.
68 min: Scrum Roosters. Fien knocks on.
68 min: Scrum Warriors on halfway. Rapira puts in a big shoulder and dislodges it from Shackleton's grasp.
70 min: VIDEO REF: Vatuvei claims a try in the left corner off a bomb but did he knock on?
71 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors It's given! It appeared that Vatuvei had knocked it on but in fact he missed it completely, turned around, picked it up and dotted down. Conversion attempt by Denan Kemp unsuccessful. Sydney Roosters 16-14
74 min: Scrum Warriors. Anasta passes forward. 35m out from the Warriors' line.
75 min: Penalty Warriors, 30m out and Price points to the posts, he wants to tie it up.
76 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors He slots it and we're all tied up with 4 to go! 16 all
77 min: Penalty Warriors for a strip. They kick to touch 40m out from their own line.
78 min: Fien makes the first field goal attempt and it shaves the left upright.
80 min: Neither side gets within range again, Anasta has a crack from halfway but we're going to golden point!
81 min: The Roosters have first possession.
81 min: Pearce kicks down to the Warriors' in-goal and Vatuvei brings it out to the 10m.
82 min: The Warriors get up to within 30m but Jones can't get a kick away.
84 min: Hohaia takes a Tuigamala kick then gets away, puts in a kick-chase and the Roosters defender is dragged out. Warriors Scrum 10m out on attack.
85 min: FIELD GOAL New Zealand Warriors Jones puts it over from point-blank range on the last tackle! The Warriors take an epic battle. New Zealand Warriors 17-16