Former Wigan Warriors star Anthony Gelling made his New Zealand Warriors debut today at the Allianz Stadium and contributed to a shock 30-6 victory over the Sydney Roosters for his team to remain unbeaten after four rounds of the NRL competition.
Not only did Gelling make his debut, but the Warriors had to play without their inspirational halfback Shaun Johnson, who pulled out of the game with a groin strain, with Mason Lino coming into the side to replace Johnson to make only his tenth first-grade appearance with the Warriors.
Lino combined with another former Wigan star, Blake Green, to engineer four tries, including one of his own, while he also added four conversions and three penalties in a game that was ridden by penalties.
It is the first time the Warriors have begun the season with four straight victories.
The Roosters took the lead on just two minutes as Latrell Mitchell crossed the line after a superb passing movement.
But that was the limit of their tryscoring for the afternoon as the Warriors gradually asserted themselves, with Lino going over for a 6-4 lead, before Leivaha Pulu scored their second and Solomona Kata their third for an 18-4 lead, with the Roosters pulling back a penalty goal just before half-time.
Lino extended the Warriors’ lead to 20-6 with a penalty before creating a try for David Fusitu’a and then adding two more late penalty goals.
Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Reece Robinson, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Isaac Liu; Interchange: 14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 17 Victor Radley
Tries: Mitchell; Goals: Mitchell
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 18 Mason Lino, 17 Bunty Afoa, 9 Isaac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 11 Leivaha Pulu, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair; Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Ligi Sao, 16 Chris Satae, 20 Anthony Gelling
Tries: Lino, Pulu, Kata, Fusitu’a; Goals: Lino 7
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.