TWL RD 15 WRAP: GUTSY WARRIORS DEFEND THEIR WAY TO 10TH WIN

Become a Patron!

The Warriors didn’t make it easy for themselves in Townsville but a supreme defensive effort in the second half carried them to a gutsy 23-16 win over the desperate North Queensland Cowboys.

After building a 16-point lead the Warriors showed worrying signs of imploding. But the visitors soaked up mountains of Johnathan Thurston- and Jason Taumalolo-led pressure before the cool head of Shaun Johnson closed out the match.

The Warriors surged to an 18-2 scoreline with a three-try burst in the space of nine minutes midway through the first half.

Ken Maumalo dived over out wide for the opening four-pointer from slick inside work by Blake Green and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. The skipper then scored a sizzling 70-metre solo try from dummy-half and helped lay on their third for a steaming Solomone Kata.

But the Cowboys landed a crucial blow late in the first half as Javid Bowen strolled in from a Kyle Feldt long ball.

The home side piled on the pressure after the break, with Feldt scoring two tries – the first courtesy of soft marker defence from the Warriors on their own line, the second via a Warriors error as Te Maire Martin scooted away and found Feldt in support.

In between Feldt’s dual strikes Kata bombed a certain four-pointer and limped off with a hamstring injury. Feldt was having an absolute field day after moving from wing to fullback for the injured Michael Morgan during the first half.

Holding a tenuous 22-16 lead thanks to a couple of Johnson penalty goals, the Warriors survived a succession of close calls through a combination of good luck, great clean-up work in the in-goal and inspirational goal-line defence.

Johnson’s excellent long kicking game proved critical to the Warriors’ survival during the second stanza, while the No.7 iced the result with sharply-taken field goal a minute from fulltime.

The Cowboys were courageous and showed the commitment befitting of a team playing to keep their season alive. But the Warriors’ composure was again a standout feature as they chalked up back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 5 and consolidated their top-four billing.

Tuivasa-Sheck and Luke – despite making some errors – were immense on both sides of the ball, while Tohu Harris, Isaiah Papali’i, Bunty Afoa and Simon Mannering were tireless.

Just containing Jason Taumalolo, who ran for over 200 metres in a devastating performance, was a triumph for the Warriors’ defence.

After following up wins with meek efforts against the Storm, Roosters and Rabbitohs in recent weeks, this victory – which extended the Warriors’ incredible away record in 2018 to 6-1 – would surely have been among Stephen Kearney’s most satisfying to date.

Facebook Comments
Become a Patron!

Categories: Previews + Reviews, WARRIORS NEWS

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: