Warriors beat Knights 13-0 in Auckland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors beat Knights 13-0 in Auckland

By Tamara Mclean 12/06/2009 10:50:17 PM Comments (0)

Warriors sensation Kevin Locke put the icing on a tough 13-0 victory over the Newcastle Knights in the round 14 NRL clash in Auckland on Friday night.

With just 10 second to go, the winger scored a runaway try to seal a hard-fought win in the rain. He then kicked the extras to put the final nail in Newcastle's coffin.

The two-try-to-none victory was desperately needed by the Kiwi side, who were placed 12th and painfully close to waving their finals chances goodbye.

The Knights, meanwhile, appeared to have few clues on attack and spent most of the match defending their line in cold, rain-soaked conditions in front of 14,255 diehard Kiwi fans at Mt Smart Stadium.

They clearly missed their injured star skipper, Kurt Gidley, and got bad news early on with the loss of winger James McManus with a possibly season-ending Achilles tear.

But despite the overwhelming amount of Kiwi possession, the Warriors could only cross the Knights' line twice.

Makeshift five-eighth Lance Hohaia burrowed over for the first try after just five minutes.

Locke, 20, converted for the Warriors to go into the break six points up.

The second half started with balanced 30-minute arm wrestle, both sides battling it out unsuccessfully to lay the ball down.

In the 71st minute the Warriors set up close to the Newcastle line, allowing Hohaia to kick a field goal, but it was Locke who stole the show with his last minute dash over the line.

Veteran Warriors halfback Stacey Jones used his 250th NRL appearance to play arguably his best kicking game of the season to date, answering critics who questioned the 32-year-old's return from retirement.

Warriors skipper Steve Price praised his team's effort in defence and the quick start to get points on the board.

"We really showed them what we were going to do from the start which we probably haven't done for a while," Price said.

Coach Ivan Cleary was equally pleased with the finish: "To be honest we probably didn't give them a look in the last 20 minutes which is really pleasing".

He said Hohaia "competed really hard" at five-eighth but saved his biggest praise for the young up-and-comer, Locke.

"He's got something, hasn't he," Cleary said.

"I can't rap him enough really. He's got a big a future in front of him."

Newcastle coach Brian Smith agreed, saying he was impressed by the winger's fast, lucid play.

He also handed congratulations to Jones for his game milestone, saying he was one of the greatest league players of all time and a "great little guy too".

The little general suffered a minor groin injury during play.

Smith said it was a tough game for his side. The odds were stacked against them with Gidley missing, the slushy conditions and the Warriors fighting back after a heavy loss to Cronulla last Sunday.

But all up the Knights fought "courageously" to the end, he said.

"I don't think we would have lost any fans tonight," Smith said.

He said McManus's injury "wasn't looking good" and will force him to sit out several games at least.

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