The class of Sam Cook and the strength of Ligi Sao gave the Warriors an important victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons at Henson Park on Magic Weekend.
Match: Dragons v Warriors
Round 11 -
Venue: Henson Park
The Dragons began with the majority of the ball and field position, but the Warriors' goal-line defence continually turned them away. This resistance was rewarded with points at the other end of the field, when a smart pass from dummy half by Karl Lawton had Ligi Sao charge onto a ball and through a gap to open the scoring.
The magical halves for the Dragons combined on Magic Weekend; Darren Nichols put in a grubber for Jai Field who was charging through the line, and he easily won the race to the ball to take the lead for the first time after the try was converted.
Sam Cook then dominated the back end of the first half, instrumenting the Warriors to a 14-6 half-time lead with two quick-fire tries. The first was pure brilliance by Sao, who took the ball to the line and threw a remarkable flick pass into the hands of Cook who strolled over, before Manaia Cherrington made a break from dummy half and passed to a supporting Cook, who scored under the posts untouched.
The Warriors began the second half as quickly as they finished the first, with Pat Sipley crashing over for a try before Lewis Soosemea showed his speed with a dash down the left sideline and passing inside to a Chanel Harris-Tavita, who increased their lead to 24-6.
With the margin getting away from them the Dragons simply had to be next to score, and Jai Field had a hand in that coming true when he ran across-field and passed to fill-in fullback Steven Masters, who had plenty of work to do before planting the ball down.
Down by 12, the Dragons desperately tried to score quick points to get themselves back in the contest, but once again the Warriors defence held strong, before the game was put out of reach when Harris-Tavita slotted a field goal to put the deficit beyond two converted tries.
There was a small glimmer of hope in the dying minutes when Jordan Pereira scored in the corner, but Soosemea picked up a loose ball and scored a runaway try against the run of play to make the final score 29-16.