New Zealand Warriors kept their slim finals hopes alive with a dominant 36-6 result against a lifeless Newcastle Knights side today in Tamworth.
The game was billed as a thank you for Tamworth and they were treated to an exhibition of rugby league. The Warriors ran in six tries, with five of those coming in a rampaging second half as the wandering Warriors continue to buck expectations this season.
This week, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck opened up about his struggles in missing his family but the superstar fullback led from the front this afternoon for the Warriors. He ran for 266 metres, scored a double and delivered a Man of the Match performance bringing the Warriors within two points of the top eight.
Tuivasa-Sheck led a right-side attack which was on fire all afternoon. Peta Hiku showed off all the skills with two flick passes, the second of which was a pearler for winger Adam Pompey who showed off his finisher skills in the corner.
Today's result also adds another notch to the belt of interim coach Todd Payten. He has built this Warriors side through completions, possession and passion and the side has looked refreshed under the former Tigers leadership.
George Jennings and Jazz Tevaga added tries late in the piece to stretch the score to 36-6. The Warriors once they sensed blood, never let up against a Knights side that were off since the opening whistle.
There will be some soul-searching for the Knights coming up. They remain safe in seventh position for now, but last week's performance combined with today's no-show must worry coach Adam O'Brien with their final month of football to shore up their finals chances.