The New Zealand Warriors remain unbeaten after five matches, as their superb first-half performance was enough to enable them to comfortably survive a North Queensland Cowboys’ fightback, winning 22-12 today in Auckland in the second match of today’s double-header.
With Shaun Johnson back in their side after he missed the previous week’s clash against the Roosters, his combination with Blake Green led to three first half tries from Warriors winger Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a, who grabbed two touchdowns.
Kyle Feldt pulled a converted try back for the Cowboys just before the interval, but a Johnson penalty on 53 minutes stretched the gap to three scores.
But when Ben Hampton touched down on 60 minutes, with Thurston again converting, there was a glimmer of light for the Cowboys.
But they couldn’t score again and when Johnson kicked a second penalty with five minutes remaining it was game up for the Cowboys, who have now lost four successive matches.
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2 David Fusitua, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Bunty Afoa, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 11 Leivaha Pulu, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair; Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Simon Mannering, 17 Anthony Gelling
Tries: Maumalo, Fusitu’a 2; Goals: Johnson 5
Cowboys: 1 Ben Hampton, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Javid Bowen, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston, 8 Matthew Scott, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo; Interchange: 14 Te Maire Martin, 15 John Asiata, 16 Corey Jensen, 17 Ethan Lowe
Tries: Feldt, Hampton; Goals: Thurston 2
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.