Warriors beat Storm 24-12 in NZ - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors beat Storm 24-12 in NZ

By Tamara Mclean 12/02/2009 08:45:22 PM Comments (0)

Kiwi league legend Stacey Jones made a solid return to action on Thursday night when the New Zealand Warriors defeated the Melbourne Storm 24-12 in their first pre-season NRL match in Hamilton.

Fans got an early 20-minute show from the pint-sized Warrior, out of retirement on a one-year deal, and he looked comfortable on the field having a hand in the first try of the match to fullback Wade McKinnon in the opening minutes.

Almost 11,000 people braved heavy rains and humidity at Waikato Stadium to mark the little general's return after more than three years away from the club.

Melbourne winger Willie Isa scored the second try of the night, levelling the score before Warriors centre Aidan Kirk got his hands on a pass from Lance Hohaia and slammed it over the line.

The second half was slow to start, with the Storm repeatedly fumbling the ball until Warriors utility Daniel O'Regan took charge and crossed over the line.

Jones was back for a good run around in the last quarter when Storm centre Joseph Tomane touched down but it wasn't enough to overwhelm the Warriors, who scored a fourth try in the last minute through Manu Vatuvei.

Bar Jones, both teams were missing their brightest stars, with captain Cameron Smith and backline linchpins Greg Inglis and Billy Slater missing from the Storm's line up and Warriors' headliners Steve Price, Brent Tate, Nathan Fien out due to injury.

The Warriors wore black wristbands and spent a minute in silence to pay respects to their missing teammate Sonny Fai, 20, who disappeared in rough seas off an Auckland beach on January 4.

The Kiwi team will meet North Queensland at North Harbour Stadium in their second trial game on February 22.

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