Warriors too good for Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors too good for Sharks

By Steve Jancetic 07/08/2010 10:28:54 PM Comments (0)

The Warriors took another step towards a return to the NRL finals after crushing a hapless Cronulla outfit 37-10 at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.

Clinging to eighth spot after back-to-back losses, the Warriors broke free from an early arm wrestle to run away convincing winners.

Rookie winger Bill Tupou was the star of the show with a hattrick - his first tries in the top grade.

While South Sydney's miraculous win over Wests Tigers kept the Rabbitohs just two competition points behind the Warriors, the men from across the Tasman know just two more wins from their last four games should be enough to book a finals berth.

"It was a very professional display tonight," Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said.

"The last couple of weeks we probably dropped off a little bit from what we'd achieved the previous couple of months, we opened the door a little bit for the opposition and they were good enough to get the win.

"Hopefully we can build on that and keep chipping away."

Given the congestion within the top eight - with just four competition points separating the Warriors from ladder leaders St George Illawarra - it appears points differential could play a crucial role determining the final finishing order.

The Warriors gave theirs a boost with the 27-point win, Tupou's second-half hattrick blowing open what had been a tough contest.

Cronulla started the better of the two sides before a paltry 7510 spectators, but it was the Warriors who scored first when Scott Porter and Ben Pomeroy were guilty of ball watching as Brent Tate touched down on a James Maloney grubber after 17 minutes.

The Sharks hit back when Nathan Gardener burst clear before finding Trent Barrett in support, but the Warriors hit the lead for good when Aaron Heremaia was injected on the half hour and setting up Maloney with his first strike, the try part of a 17-point haul for the Warriors' No.6.

A penalty goal on the stroke of halftime extended the Warriors' lead, the visitors doing further damage on the scoreboard when Joel Moon scored a controversial try.

Video referee Chris Ward took an eternity before giving Manu Vatuvei the benefit of the doubt after a contest for the ball with Blake Ferguson.

From there the floodgates opened as Tupou - without a try from his first nine NRL games - sandwiched his three tries around a Paul Aiton four-pointer, Maloney rubbing salt into the wound with a late field goal.

"I thought the Warriors were there to get beaten but we were just average tonight," said Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, still without a win after three games in charge.

"I can't explain why ... we just had too many players off tonight."

Asked about the crucial Moon try, veteran sharks forward Paul Gallen denied it proved decisive.

"We were ordinary all night - that wasn't going to make a difference to whether we won or lost."

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