Vatuvei steals another win for Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vatuvei steals another win for Warriors

22/02/2009 09:22:15 PM Comments (0)

Rampaging winger Manu Vatuvei maintained his rich vein of try-scoring form with a 75th-minute match winner in the New Zealand Warriors' 32-28 trial win over North Queensland on Sunday.

Vatuvei's try broke a 28-all deadlock to give the Warriors their second straight trial win in front of more than 16,500 fans North Harbour Stadium.

Vatuvei scored 22 tries in 23 matches for club and country last season, including 16 for the Warriors in 17 matches.

He also scored the decisive try in the Warriors' 24-12 trial win against Melbourne in Hamilton earlier this month.

Sunday's match featured World Cup-winning Kiwis Simon Mannering, Nathan Fien and Jerome Ropati in their first run this season along with captain Steve Price and Brent Tate.

There was instant joy for the Warriors when North Queensland knocked on from the kick-off and a minute later Fien's cross-field bomb gifted Patrick Ah Van a try.

Only four minutes later ex-Bronco Joel Moon, teamed in the halves with Fien, ran superbly on to an Ian Henderson offload, stepping past the defence to give the home side a 10-0 lead.

The Cowboys responded with tries to Ben Farrah and Willie Tonga before Lance Hohaia re-ignited his side by cutting through the defence near his own line and racing 90 metres to score a spectacular try.

Shane Tronc, Carl Webb and Johnathan Thurston then grabbed soft tries to see the Cowboys to surge to a 28-16 lead with 20 minutes to go.

But the Warriors, led by veteran Kiwi Stacey Jones who played at halfback in the second half, fought back with three tries in the space of 11 minutes.

Jones floated out a lovely long ball for Malo Solomona to score wide out before newcomer Lewis Brown, signed from Wests Tigers, ran a great line to score another four-pointer.

Moon's conversion levelled the game up at 28-28 before Vatuvei slipped three defenders and surged to the line to seal the win.

The Cowboys finished the match with just 11 men after Ashley Graham and Ty Williams were sin-binned inside the last 10 minutes for holding down offences.

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