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Tomkins makes fine debut for New Zealand Warriors
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Tomkins makes fine debut for New Zealand Warriors

by: Joe Whitley, February 16, 2014, 3:50 pm

Tomkins set up a try with his very first touch for New Zealand Warriors in this weekend’s inaugural Auckland Nines tournament.

The England full-back starred for his new team in the new and exciting competition and linked particularly well with Kiwi half-back Shaun Johnson.

Indeed, New Zealand legend Stacey Jones thinks they’re going to give NRL defences a real headache when the season gets underway.

“They are going to cause a lot of trouble for other teams this year if they keep going like that,” said Jones after watching the pair take apart Canberra Raiders 25-14 and Manly Sea Eagles 24-5.

Tomkins’ first touch was something any Super League fan is used to seeing – the 24-year-old arrived at dummy half, and in one smooth motion, bent down, picked up the ball, sprinted off, drew a man, and offloaded to send a team-mate crashing over.

“He’s done exactly what I thought he was going to do,” said Johnson, whose last-gasp try broke English hearts in the World Cup semi final.

“He’s not the biggest player, but he’s got a big heart. Every time he runs that ball he runs it like he’s a prop, throws himself into the line.”

“I thought I would be nervous but I was OK, probably because it is nines,” said Tomkins.

“When round one [of the NRL] comes around I probably will be.”

Tomkins’ Warriors were heavy favourites for the title and the million-dollar first prize when they flew through the early rounds with relative ease, the Englishman and Johnson scoring and setting up the majority of their scores.

However, in the semi-final their foot slipped off the pedal and they were taken apart by North Queensland Cowboys, who they had seen off in game 21. The 8-0 loss saw them crash out of the competition. The Cowboys capitalised and went on to defeat Brisbane Broncos in the final 16-7.

Shaun Johnson stretches over to score for New Zealand Warriors in the Auckland Nines. ©FairfaxMedia

Shaun Johnson stretches over to score for New Zealand Warriors in the Auckland Nines. ©FairfaxMedia

All the scores from the 2014 Auckland Nines

Game 1
Cronulla Sharks 15-12 Newcastle Knights
Game 2
Wests Tigers 7-22 Gold Coast Titans
Game 3
Sydney Roosters 11-18 Parramatta Eels
Game 4
Brisbane Broncos 20-4 Canterbury Bulldogs
Game 5
New Zealand Warriors 25-14 Canberra Raiders
Game 6
Manly Sea Eagles 17-8 North Queensland Cowboys
Game 7
Melbourne Storm 11-14 Penrith Panthers
Game 8
South Sydney Rabbitohs 23-4 St George-Illawara Dragons
Game 9
Cronulla Sharks 15-21 Wests Tigers

Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins at the Auckland Nines. ©FairfaxMedia

Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins at the Auckland Nines. ©FairfaxMedia

Game 10
Newcastle Knights 25-14 Gold Coast Titans
Game 11
Sydney Roosters 14-7 Brisbane Broncos
Game 12
Parramatta Eels 23-6 Canterbury Bulldogs
Game 13
New Zealand Warriors 23-4 Manly Sea Eagles
Game 14
Canberra Raiders 0-24 North Queensland Cowboys
Game 15
Melbourne Storm 18-12 South Sydney Rabbitohs
Game 16
Penrith Panthers 23-8 St George-Illawara Dragons
Game 17
Cronulla Sharks 30-14 Gold Coast Titans
Game 18
Newcastle Knights 25-0 Wests Tigers
Game 19
Sydney Roosters 4-16 Canterbury Bulldogs
Game 20
Parramatta Eels 14-15 Brisbane Broncos
Game 21
New Zealand Warriors 28-23 North Queensland Cowboys
Game 22
Canberra Raiders 18-4 Manly Sea Eagles
Game 23
Melbourne Storm 10-14 St George-Illawara Dragons
Game 24
Penrith Panthers 16-18 South Sydney Rabbitohs

Quarter Final 1
Newcastle Knights 11-16 Brisbane Broncos
Quarter Final 2
Parramatta Eels 6-17 Cronulla Sharks
Quarter Final 3
New Zealand Warriors 17-16 South Sydney Rabbitohs
Quarter Final 4
Penrith Panthers 12-22 North Queensland Cowboys

Semi Final 1
Brisbane Broncos 18-14 Cronulla Sharks
Semi Final 2
New Zealand Warriors 0-8 North Queensland Cowboys

Final
North Queensland Cowboys 16-7 Brisbane Broncos

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