A dominant second half from the New Zealand Warriors has seen them put away the Wentworthville Magpies at Mt Smart Stadium, defeating the visitors 32 points to 14. Impressive showings from James Gavet, Shaun Lane, Jazz Tevaga and Toafofoa Sipley helped secure the victory, while the Magpies fought hard but were unable to put an end to their growing losing streak.
The encounter started as a typical back-and-forth affair and it took until the 14th minute for points to be posted. They came through Warriors prop Toafofoa Sipley, who barged over for an early 6-0 advantage.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Jazz Tevaga compounded the damage five minutes later; the hooker, who has spent six games in the top grade this season, caught the Magpies defence unawares in his run from dummy-half, scoring and making the score 12-0.
The running was all with the Warriors but some soft defence allowed John Folau to post the Magpies’ first points of the day in the 34th minute; he broke a number of tackles after picking up a rebounded kick and Wentworthville was on the board.
The New Zealand side didn’t see the ball again before Wentworthville posted another, as a penalty soon after the restart gave the Magpies a second. A deflection from a Michael Doolan grubber landed in no man’s land and with a distinct lack of urgency from the Warriors defence, they failed to get to it before a fast-paced Cody Nelson. After a poor period of five minutes for the Warriors, the game reached its halfway point evenly poised at 12 points to 10.
The Warriors wasted little time to push ahead in the second half, however as Sipley muscled his way over next to the posts to score his second and extend his side’s lead. At just 44th minute, it signalled the start of a much improved stanza for the New Zealand side.
When a Magpies ball dribbled dead in goal the Warriors clicked into gear, marching 100 metres upfield in the ensuing set. A beautiful Ata Hingano chip kick found Nicoll-Klokstad to cap off an incredible passage of play from the home side.
All the momentum as with the Warriors and a rampaging Shaun Lane soon mad the most of a Jeff Robson short ball to find the line. The conversion hit the upright and the Warriors led 26-10.
Tui Oloapu pushed his case for a spot at the Rio Olympics with an incredible gymnastic display in the left corner; the winger, who was a late inclusion for the Magpies, managed to get upside down over the ball to avoid going in to touch, planting the ball down for the visitors’ third try.
With Wentworthville down to just a single remaining interchange for the final quarter, however, they were gradually being outmuscled and soon it would be Shaun Lane and Jonothan Wright to get the crowd on their feet. A barnstorming Lane run and offload found Wright, who summed up his options and sent Wells over for a deserved try.
A consolation try came for the Magpies in the 80th minute, with prop Rory O’Brien hitting a gap hard for a simple four-pointer. The conversion took the final score line to 32-20 after another solid home game for the Warriors.