The Warriors - besieged by injuries at their last training session which forced a number of changes - have recovered from a slow start to down the Bulldogs 20-14, keeping their slim finals hopes alive at ANZ Stadium this afternoon.
The visitors were very nearly were the first team to score after debutant Paul Turner kicked on the second tackle. Reimis Smith regathered on his own tryline and then threw a long pass to William Hopoate who wasn't expecting it. The ball went to ground and the Warriors chasing through came agonisingly close to getting an early four-pointer.
The scoring ultimately started in the 16th minute after Canterbury sent the ball to the left where Nick Meaney got into space down the sideline. He sent the ball back inside to Tim Lafai, who charged towards the left corner before sending a stunning flick out the back to Meaney, which allowed the winger to barge over the line for a great try. Meaney was unable to convert from the sideline.
The Dogs wasted no time to add to their score, crossing in the very next set after the restart when Jeremy Marshall-King strolled effortlessly through the Warriors middle from dummy half, drew Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and then put Kieran Foran away for a good try under the posts. Meaney converted from in front.
The Warriors finally got on the board in the 29th minute after Kodi Nikorima kicked from the left side to the right and found four teammates challenging for the kick. It was Jack Murchie who caught it cleanly and he scored beside the posts. Nikorima converted.
At halftime, the Bulldogs lead 10-6.
The home side extended their lead shortly after play resumed when Jack Cogger held up a beautiful short ball and Hopoate ran onto it, hit a gap at pace and scored on the right side. Meaney failed to add the extras.
The Warriors then bagged back-to-back tries to take the lead. In the 48th minute after they slowly ambled down the right side saw the ball get to Murchie, who got a brilliant offload away to Peta Hiku, who quickly sent the ball out to Adam Pompey and the winger had a clear run down the sideline and he scored. Nikorima failed to convert.
Just two minutes later Nikorima skipped out of a tackle and then switched the ball back inside to Murchie who strolled over to score near the posts. Nikorima's conversion looked shaky but it went between the sticks to give the Warriors a 16-14 lead.
Turner almost went close to scoring in the 56th and 60th minutes, however he lost the ball on the first attempt and took advantage of an obstruction on the second.
But the Warriors wouldn't be denied in the 63rd minute. Nikorima softly walks into the tackler, whose tackle resembled a cuddle. Nikorima, standing in the tackle, passed to Tuivasa-Sheck, who flew up on the right side, took the pass and swerved around the defence to score a good try. Nikorima was again unable to convert.
Nikorima attempted to put the visitors seven points clear in the 77th minute, but his field goal attempt, despite being from almost in front on the posts, was pushed wide. They did enough though to hold onto their 6 point lead to win 20-14.