Warriors pay for win over Rabbitohs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors pay for win over Rabbitohs

23/05/2010 06:12:41 PM Comments (0)

Their injury list may soon see them dubbed the Terracotta Warriors but the Kiwi NRL side stood firm when it mattered most to beat South Sydney 26-24 at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Warriors completed Sunday's match without prop Sam Rapira, whose suspected ruptured ACL may rule him out for the rest of the season and halfback James Maloney (back) who is in doubt for Friday's clash with West Tigers.

It simply added to their woes with the Warriors already nursing the likes of key players Steve Price and Manu Vatuvei on the sidelines.

But few could question the New Zealanders' commitment against Souths, the Warriors holding firm for much of the last quarter as the visitors looked to steal a result.

Down 18-10, the Warriors enjoyed a golden nine minute run either side of halftime, centre Jerome Ropati scoring a double and Russell Packer ensuring the home side enjoyed an eight point buffer after 49 minutes.

Buth Souths winger Fetuli Talanoa ensured his side stayed in the contest with a 68th minute try as Souths mounted attack after attack in the closing minutes of the game.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary was delighted with his side, if not the mounting injury toll.

"I'm very happy with the effort and the determination and I thought we deserved the win," Cleary said.

"It was bloody tough, you lose two guys, two key men as well with at least half the game to go put a huge dent in our stocks.

"With one good kick or a couple in the last half an hour we would have comfortably won, but we just couldn't get one and it kept them in the game.

"It was pretty obvious to see we were desperate to win the game so I'm very happy with that."

For Souths it was just another dip in what has been a rollercoaster season thus far, coach John Lang again lamenting his side's inconsistency.

"We had our chances late in the game, probably should have nailed one or two of them but I've got no complaints about the final result.

"They broke us from the first set of the game, right across the board, our kicking game was inconsistent, our defence was inconsistent, we gave away some stupid penalties, we came up with some bad unforced handling errors and you can't do those sorts of things."

The home side began the match with plenty of tempo and fullback Lance Hohaia brought the crowd alive with a fifth minute try in his 150th appearance for his only NRL club.

But when Ropati lost the ball after being hit by hard-tackling Englishman Sam Burgess, Souths centre Colin Best slid over by the posts to help level the scores.

Centre Brent Tate struck back for the Warriors but Talanoa's first of two and a Rhys Wesser try after beautiful lead-up work by Issac Luke had Souths in the box seat at 18-10.

Ropati's effort on the halftime siren proved costly for Souths, who again seemingly lost interest at key times during a match.

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