NYC Roosters out-gunned by Warriors
The NYC Roosters have gone down 26-18 to the Warriors in a high-quality encounter at Mt Smart Stadium.
These sides last met in Round 5, where they played out a 28-all draw, and it was an equally thrilling contest in their second clash of the season.
It took 15 minutes for the first points to be scored. It was a rather unorthodox effort, with Warriors fullback Peter Hiku misreading a kick from Rhyse Martin. Martin toed it through, and three Roosters players were in the clear to score. Curtis Rona finally gathered and planted the ball, putting an end to the relatively slow start to the match.
The Roosters were controlling the ruck well in the first half, getting on top of the powerful Warriors forward pack.
Rona was in again in the 33rd minute, sliding through the Warriors defence. He had plenty of players hanging off him, but was still able to find his way to the line in a similar part of the field as his first. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was crucial to this try - attracting plenty of attention, the fullback squeezed the final pass out to Rona.
The Warriors were kept silent in the first half, but the momentum shifted as the second began. The Warriors’ right edge were in ominous form, with centre Ngani Laumape scoring a double, before a brilliant display up the middle led to a further four points via Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard.
Some inaccurate goal kicking kept scores close, with the Roosters trailing by only two after the third try from the home side.
But the momentum shifted back with the Roosters, as Rona scored his hat trick to put the Tricolours back into the lead with 17 minutes remaining.
It looked as though the visitors were in the box seat heading into the final stretch, but the Warriors hit back through David Fusitua who dived over in the corner. Mason Lino converted with just minutes remaining to give the NYC Warriors a slender two point lead, and they went on with it, with Hiku scoring in the shadows of fulltime to give the Warriors a 26-18 victory.