Full Time
3:00pm Sat June 3, 2023
Round 14 - Go Media Stadium, Penrose / Aotearoa - Crowd: 23686

Match Overview

The New Zealand Warriors have powered their way to a 30-8 victory with a dominant second half over the Dolphins in Auckland.

Holding a slender lead at halftime before blowing the game open with four second half tries, halfback Shaun Johnson displayed signs of his youthful best with a brace of tries to the delight of 23,686 supporters in attendance.

Returning home to the newly renamed Go Media Stadium for the first time in a month, the Warriors were quick to capitalise on multiple penalties and a captain's challenge with Johnson (5th minute) taking on the line and dummying to open the scoring.

Going close to adding a second only for Tesi Niu to deny Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad with a determined defensive effort, the Warriors were dealt a blow with centre Rocco Berry ruled out of the match after a head clash with Jarrod Wallace.

With both sides struggling to execute attacking opportunities midway through proceedings, the Dolphins were left to rue points left on the table with Niu denied due to a forward pass and Jamayne Isaako failing to hold onto an attacking kick.

Eventually getting on the board through Niu (34th minute) following a terrific cut-out pass by Kodi Nikorima, the Warriors took a 6-4 lead to the sheds after Luke Metcalf was penalised for a double movement with seconds remaining in the half.

Playing with an extra man after Anthony Milford was sent to the sin bin for a late hit on Marcelo Montoya shortly after the resumption of play, the Warriors appeared to score through Dallin Watene-Zelezniak only for the bunker to rule Marata Niukore obstructed Isaiya Katoa during a right side shift.

Striking a major blow with Johnson (55th minute) stepping his way to the line for a brace of tries, a length-of-the-field set from the kick-off saw Metcalf (56th minute) streak away to push the home side out beyond two converted tries.

Securing the result with Watene-Zelezniak (68th minute) finishing off a right-side shift reminiscent of the play denied earlier in the half, the winger (72nd minute) pounced on a pass from Katoa to collect his second of the night.

A late try to Isaako (77th minute) proved little more than consolation for the visitors as the Warriors romped to their biggest victory of the season.

Next week, the Warriors will face the Raiders in Canberra on Friday, while the Dolphins will head to Manly to take on the Sea Eagles later the same evening.

3. Shaun Johnson

Stepping up (literally) to get the Warriors into a winning position, the star halfback proved he can still attack with the best of them.

2. Addin Fonua-Blake

Pulling off a great shot on Mark Nicholls during the first half, the front-rower laid a dominant platform for the win.

1. Josh Curran

Forced to fill in at centre (right and left as needed), the regular second-rower performed admirably.