The Warriors have overcome a much-improved Newcastle Knights side at McDonald Jones Stadium, overcoming the 12th-placed home side in a 22-18 Intrust Super Premiership victory.
Goal-kicking ultimately proved the difference in the four-tries-all result, but it was a more influential performance from halfback Brock Lamb, who gave his side every chance of success. For the Warriors, Mason Lino overcame a shaky start and Sam Cook had some key plays in securing their eighth win of the season
Match: Knights v Warriors
Round 15 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
It would be the Knights who had all the running early, and Lamb soon took charge to deliver the opening points. Desperate to make his mark on the Intrust Super Premiership, the talented halfback took a quick tap from a Newcastle penalty, sliding across to the left edge before putting in a grubber off his left foot for Pat Mata'utia. The second-rower was successful in chasing the ball down for a 4-0 advantage.
The left side again brought points for the Knights when fullback Nick Meaney tried his luck five minutes later; Meaney almost lost the ball but regathered as he easily beat Warriors winger Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck to score. With Lamb unable to convert again, however, the home side had to settle for an 8-0 lead.
Newcastle enjoyed a whopping 70% possession in the opening 20 minutes, but their opposition soon took their opportunity to hit back on the scoreboard. After Knights centre Beau Fermor was dragged down close to the line, Lamb forced a line dropout - but when Sam Cook found touch from the ensuing kick, momentum shifted. The Warriors made the most of their chance, with Mason Lino putting in a kick for Joseph Vuna, who took a fumble from Meaney to cross the line. Converted by Lino, it left an 8-6 half-time scoreline.
The second half saw the Warriors continue their momentum as Blake Ayshford was next to score at the end of a good team play. A wraparound play from James Bell found Cook, who passed onto Lino and then found the experienced centre in a hole.
Lamb was once again required to wrestle back the run of play which he achieved with a 40-20. Soon after, with the Knights in attacking position, a Hayden Loughrey cutout ball found Tom Hughes, who got the ball down despite an untimely trip. Once again unconverted, it levelled scores at 12-all.
From there, another big play from Cook continued the Warriors' charge.
The Warriors hooker took the quick tap to put his side on the front foot, from which the visitors shifted left, with Lino finding Hayze Perham in a big gap. Five minutes later, with the Warriors again pressuring the Knights' line, rampaging forward Albert Vete took on Tom Starling to crash over from close range, opening up a 10-point lead.
One of the Knights' set plays eventually came off late in the game, when a Zac Hosking short ball sent Fermor into space, resulting in 22-18 scoreline with six minutes remaining. With Lino expertly closing out the game for his side, however, the Warriors would come away with a four-point victory.