Full Time
4:05pm Sun March 31, 2024
Round 4 - Go Media Stadium, Penrose / Aotearoa - Crowd: 24112

Match Overview

A dominant return to the number 1 jersey by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has proven the catalyst for a 20-12 win by the Warriors over the Newcastle Knights.

Both teams felt eachother out to start the game in the first 15 minutes before a mistake by Newcastle game the Warriors a chance, and they capitalised when Shaun Johnson teed up Jackson Ford with a short ball to open the scoring. The next set, Wayde Egan split the defence open with a dummy half dart before finding Chanel Harris-Tevita in support to extend the lead to 12-0.

But despite dominating the first half hour of play, the Warriors let the Knights back into the game and just before halftime they finally broke through when a Tyson Gamble grubber sat perfectly for the other Tyson, Frizell, to work his way over the line. The Novocastrians would have a chance to tie the game heading to the sheds but were unable to do so, leaving the score at 12-6.

Straight out of halftime the Warriors were able to strike again, when Marcelo Montoya flashed across the face of Thomas Jenkins to field a Harris-Tevita kick and crash over to push the lead back to 12 points. While Newcastle would start to win the arm wrestle as the half progressed, Shaun Johnson's kicking game kept them at arms length and eventually gave the Warriors an opportunity at a penalty goal to build a 20-6 lead.

But the Knights wouldn't die wondering and Kalyn Ponga took over the final period of the game, first landing a grubber perfectly to give Bradman Best a try to cut the lead to 8. Then a set later, his ball sent Enari Tuala into open space and after getting the ball back, he looked certain to send his winger over for a try before Tuivasa-Sheck reached out to bat the ball down. That proved the Knights final chance and the Warriors held on for the 20-12 victory.

Tuivasa-Sheck was the clear man of the match, running for 275 metres and breaking 6 tackles. But multiple Warriors stepped up big time, including Johnson, Egan, Harris-Tevita, Addin Fonua-Blake and Tohu Harris.

There is significant concern for the Warriors however after Luke Metcalf went down with a lower leg injury less than 10 minutes into the game. He left the stadium via Medicab just after halftime and the club will be sweating on the results of X-Rays.

For the Knights they drop to 1-3, and it's becoming clear the problems run deeper than just switching around their halfbacks. They'll hope the expected return of Dane Gagai next week can provide the spark in attack that they desperately missed in this one.

The Knights will host the Dragons on Friday night, while the Warriors travel to Homebush to take on the Rabbitohs on Saturday afternoon.

3. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Seemed to have his hands on the ball every single play for the Warriors. Looked completely natural at fullback, and a debate should be made that he should remain there long term.

2. Shaun Johnson

His kicking game was dominant and kept the Knights from being able to take full advantage of their field position, also picked up a classy try assist.

1. Wayde Egan

Dominated the ruck every time the Warriors managed a quick play the ball, and was rewarded with a try assist.