New Zealand Warriors survived a fierce Manly Sea Eagles fightback to register a 24-16 win, their first at home in seven attempts.
New Zealand produced a stunning first-half performance in attack and defence to set up an 18-0 lead at the break.
After Ken Mauamlo opened the scoring, the Sea Eagles had all the territory and possession but couldn’t make it count. They were punished when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck cleaned up Blake Green’s kick by popping the ball between his legs for Ligi Sao.
Then Maumalo scored his second try when he finished off a move in the left corner which featured quick hands from Chanel Harris-Tavita who would add a penalty seconds before the hooter.
It looked as if the Warriors would ease to victory but when Adam Blair was sin binned for a professional foul with 12 minutes to go, it all collapsed.
Joel Thompson dived over before two tries from Reuben Garrick got the Sea Eagles within two points. But thankfully for the Warriors, Jazz Tevaga scored from dummy half to ease the nerves with two minutes to play.
Warriors: Tuivasa-Sheck, Pompey, Hiku, Beale, Maumalo, Harris-Tavita, Green, Paasi, Tevaga, Ah Mau, Blair, Papali’i, Burr; Interchanges: Keighran, Lisone, Afoa, Sao
Tries: Maumalo 2, Sao, Tevaga; Goals: Harris-Tavita 4
Sin bin: Blair (68) – professional foul
Sea Eagles: T Trbojevic, Taufua, Parker, Suli, Garrick, Walker, Cherry-Evans, Fonua-Blake, Koroisau, Taupau, Thompson, Sironen, J Trbojevic; Interchanges: Fainu, Waddell, Boyle, Paseka
Tries: Thompson, Garrick 2; Goals: Garrick 2
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.