TWL RD 4: WARRIORS PLUCKED BY RAMPANT ROOSTERS

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The Warriors crashed to a 32-12 loss to Sydney Roosters in a forgettable Easter Sunday visit to the SCG.

Despite leading 12-4 after 21 minutes after scoring two tries from kicks, the Warriors crumbled under the weight of a glut of handling errors and a lack of defensive steel on their own line.

Further dampening a night where they were held scoreless for the last hour of match and conced the last five tries, the Warriors are also sweating on a knee injury suffered by Addin Fonua-Blake during the first half.

Without their front-row spearhead, they were trampled through the middle and wasteful with the rare attacking opportunities they did have.

The Warriors enjoyed a couple of narrow escapes at their own end before opening the scoring in the eighth minute.

Adam Pompey picked up the in-goal scraps from a Kodi Nikorima bomb to dot down for the third time in as many 2021 appearances.

A searing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck break went to waste as the supporting Nikorima lost the ball in the tackle just metres out from the try-line. The error was compounded as the Roosters struck back through the brilliance of their No.1.

James Tedesco palmed off Wayde Egan and scorched 40 metres for a brilliant solo try.

Tuivasa-Sheck laid on the Warriors’ second try with a deft grubber kick, which Tohu Harris brilliant forced for a 12-4 lead.

The Warriors were again made to pay for their mistakes, however, this time after Jazz Tevaga spilled the ball in their next set. The Roosters’ debutant halfback Sam Walker sent a hard-charging Nat Butcher over despite the valiant efforts of Pompey and RTS.

The home side hit the front for the first time in the 29th minute, with Brett Morris embarrassing opposing winger Ken Maumalo to score in the corner.

The Warriors survived until halftime without incurring any further damage, but the 16-12 scoreline looked a little worse with news gun prop Addin Fonua-Blake would not return in the second half thanks to a knee knock that forced him off in the 14th minute.

Presented with several opportunities at the Roosters’ end early in the second half, the Warriors were rebuffed by stiff defence and stymied by a lack of creativity – incessant crash balls off Egan was their default option.

The Warriors’ lack of goal-line resolve was then exposed as Brett Morris muscled over for his second from close range far too easily.

It went from bad to incompetent in the 58th minute as the ball went to ground due to a miscommunication between Bayley Sironen and Tuivasa-Sheck. Roosters five-eighth Drew Hutchison scooped up the loose ball and ran it in for his side’s fifth try.

The Warriors appeared to keep a flicker of hope alive with 11 minutes remaining, but Ken Maumalo’s hand agonisingly clipped the sideline as he dived over in the corner following superb inside work from RTS and Pompey.

The Roosters sealed the result soon afterwards, Josh Morris exposing the Warriors’ threadbare goal-line defence yet again.

The Warriors get an ideal opportunity to bounce back – albeit on a five-day turnaround – with a home clash against struggling Manly. But there’s several problem areas that Nathan Brown needs to address before they can get back on track.

Roosters 32 (Brett Morris 2, James Tedesco, Nat Butcher, Drew Hutchison, Josh Morris tries; Sio Siua Taukeiaho 3, Walker goals) defeated Warriors 12 (Adam Pompey, Tohu Harris tries; Kodi Nikorima 2 goals) at Sydney Cricket Ground, April 4. Halftime: Roosters 16-12.

 

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