Warriors woes continue in Wellington - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors woes continue in Wellington

By Daniel Gilhooly 16/04/2004 09:11:29 PM Comments (0)

The New Zealand Warriors' flat start to the National Rugby League season and less-than-flattering history at Wellington's Westpac Stadium have continued, going down 24-18 to the Bulldogs.

The Warriors' fifth NRL loss from six matches sees them remain near the foot of the table while the Bulldogs climb to the top, although their nearest rivals are still to play this weekend.

The Warriors never recovered from a disastrous opening 10 minutes in which they conceded two tries. They trailed by that same 12-0 margin at halftime, and were effectively shut out of contention by rapid-fire Bulldogs double midway through the second spell.

The Warriors finished the stronger of the two sides, late tries to second-rower Epalahame Lauaki and centre Vinnie Anderson creating an exciting final four minutes.

However, they didn't deserve to win, their flamboyant but error-ridden performance too inconsistent against a largely no-frills Bulldogs side .

It was a far cry from the last time the teams met, when the Warriors prevailed 48-22 in a one-sided semifinal in Sydney last year, with Francis Meli crossing for five tries.

The Warriors remain winless in five appearances at Westpac Stadium, having three defeats and a draw against the Bulldogs here, along with a loss to the Canberra Raiders last year.

Few of the Warriors players would have enhanced their chances of selection in the Kiwis team for the one-off Test against Australia in Newcastle next weekend.

Instead a Canterbury duo - two-try centre Jamaal Lolesi and interchange forward Roy Asotasi - probably did more to impress the New Zealand selectors, who announce the Test squad on Sunday.

The Warriors will have a bye next weekend, which may be something of a relief for Kiwis and Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, currently struggling to lift his side to the standard of the past two seasons.

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