New Zealand Warriors moved into ninth place in the NRL Premiership table after defeating Canterbury Bulldogs 21-14 on Friday night at Mountt Smart Stadium.
But there was a negative side to the victory, with the Warriors losing hooker Issac Luke with a dislocated shoulder in the first half.
The Warriors owed much of their victory to a smart kicking game from former Golden Boot winner Shaun Johnson, but the Bulldogs struck first when, from a penalty for offside, Kerrod Holland kicking the opening points.
The Warriors took the lead, however, when winger Ken Maumalo broke downfield, recovered from an ankle tap and beat the cover defence for a converted try.
The only other score in the first half was a penalty in the final minute when Josh Jackson was penalised and sent to the sinbin for a professional foul near his own posts.
While he was off the field Blake Ayshford touched down a Johnson grubber two minutes into the second half.
The Bulldogs replied when former Warrior Raymond Faitala-Mariner broke through Johnson and Ayshford to score his first try for the club.
Holland’s goal reduced the gap to six points and Canterbury almost scored again when Greg Eastwood knocked the ball on over the line.
Johnson’s field-goal took the Warriors to a two-score lead with eleven minutes remaining.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck added another try for the Warriors, before Holland crossed and converted from the touchline to leave the final score at 21-14 in front of 13,476 spectators.
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 3 Blake Ayshford, 4 David Fusitua, 5 Ken Maumalo, 22 Ata Hingano, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Jacob Lillyman, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Bodene Thompson, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Simon Mannering; Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache, 15 Samuel Lisone, 16 Albert Vete, 18 James Gavet.
Tries: Maumalo, Ayshford, Tuivasa-Sheck; Goals: Johnson 4; Field-goal: Johnson
Bulldogs: 1 William Hopoate, 20 Kerrod Holland, 3 Joshua Morris, 4 Chase Stanley, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Josh Reynolds, 7 Moses Mbye, 8 Aiden Tolman, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 James Graham (c), 11 Josh Jackson, 12 Adam Elliott, 15 Danny Fualalo; Interchange: 13 David Klemmer, 14 Sam Kasiano, 16 Greg Eastwood, 22 Raymond Faitala-Mariner.
Tries: Faitala-Mariner, Holland; Goals: Holland 3
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches can be found in Monday’s issue of League Express