Bears V Warriors - VB NSW Cup Rd 11
By Nathan Beuman
The New Zealand Warriors have made it two wins in as many weeks north of the Harbour Bridge, knocking off the North Sydney Bears 36-22 at North Sydney Oval.
Despite losing David Fusitua and Tuimoala Lolohea to first grade, the Warriors attack looked sharp, with Sam Cook and Mason Lino laying the platform for a dominant performance by the New Zealand forwards.
Having just held the Bears out for back to back sets on their own line, the Warriors turned defence into attack, with Agnatius Paasi using his footwork to get around some sloppy marker defence, before putting away an unmarked Carlos Tuimavave for his first try of the afternoon.
From directly in front, Mason Lino had no issues with the conversion, putting the visitors up 6-0 after 14 minutes.
North Sydney hit back just three minutes later, when a series of offloads had the Warriors defence in all sorts of trouble, before a Jordan Worboys flick pass to a waiting Duncan Lowe led to points.
Kurt Aldridge made light work of the conversion, locking up the scores at 6 a piece after 18 minutes.
The Warriors capitalised on possession late in the first half, with converted tries to Sam Cook and Agnatius Paasi in the space of eight minutes, giving New Zealand a 24-6 lead with four minutes remaining in the half.
Just as the half time siren was about to sound, North Sydney halfback Jordan Worboys threw a magic cut-out pass to Curtis Johnston out wide, with the winger somehow able to get the ball down despite heavy pressure from the Warriors, snapping the corner post in the process.
Aldridge slotted the conversion from the sideline, sending the Warriors into half time with a 24-12 lead.
North Sydney came out firing in the second half, scoring the opening two tries, with one each to Curtis Johnston and Chris Grevsmuhl, leaving the Bears just two points in arrears at 24-22 with 15 minutes remaining.
Unfortunately for the Bears faithful, that would be the last opportunity they would have to wave their banners, with errors gifting the Warriors two tries in the final 10 minutes.
Charlie Gubb was the next to score for New Zealand, with the menacing front rower capping off a terrific second half, shrugging off Norths fullback Kane Morgan with ease to score his first try of the year.
Once again Mason Lino made the conversion, to give the Warriors a 30-22 lead with eight minutes remaining.
To further add insult to injury, New Zealand managed to cross for a try with only seconds remaining in the game, with Sam Cook capping off a stellar game with a double, before Lino kept his perfect record with the boot intact.
The Warriors return home next week, playing the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday morning, while the North Sydney Bears make their way to the shire to take on the Cronulla Sharks at Remondis Stadium on Saturday at 3pm.
New Zealand Warriors 36 (C Tuimavave 2, S Cook 2, C Gubb, A Paasi tries; M Lino 6 goals) def. North Sydney Bears 22 (C Johnston 2, C Grevsmuhl, D Low tries; K Aldridge 3 goals) at North Sydney Oval.