Warriors hold off Bulldogs
The Warriors put together arguably their best performance of the season to down the Bulldogs 24-20 on Saturday night at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
A strong second half, where they scored three tries and conceded one, set the Warriors up for the 'away' victory, which was their first against Canterbury-Bankstown in six games dating back to 2012.
The Warriors' attack had produced more points than any team bar the Cowboys heading into Round 7, and was on song against the Bulldogs with seven line breaks and over 1,600 running metres. The New Zealand outfit lost fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to injury in the first half.
The Warriors owned the early momentum as they scored in the 11th and 14th minutes to take the lead.
Winger David Fusitu'a crossed for the opener in his first NRL game of the year, before Shaun Johnson stood up Josh Morris to pierce through the middle and set up an overlap for Blake Ayshford to score.
With Johnson unable to convert either effort the Warriors led 8-0.
Some individual skill on both sides of the ball from William Hopoate changed the game on 20 minutes, and saw the Bulldogs storm back into the contest.
First the fullback produced a last-ditch strip to stop a certain Solomone Kata try, before he threw a looping cut-out pass for Sam Perrett to cross down the other end.
Before the half hour mark Perrett had a double, while he featured in Canterbury-Bankstown's third in the final minute of the half as well, breaking down the right before finding Kerrod Holland for the try.
With a Holland conversion to go with their three tries the Dogs led 14-8 at the break.
As is becoming a habit in 2016 the Warriors came out of the sheds with a spring in their step, scoring after Jonathan Wright latched on to a pinpoint Johnson kick.
A penalty then set the Kiwi side up with solid field positioning which Tui Lolohea turned into a 50th minute try after a cheeky dummy-half dart from 10 metres out.
Ayshford bagged his second with 15 minutes to go, in a try which included touches from the entire Warriors spine. Johnson added the extras from out wide to take a 24-14 lead.
A nervous final 10 minutes saw the Dogs strike back through a second to Holland, which he converted, to send the game down to the wire.
The Warriors scrambled well to survive a last-minute attack from Canterbury-Bankstown to pick up their third win of the year 24-20.
Warriors 24 (David Fusitu'a, Blake Ayshford 2, Jonathan Wright, Tuimoala Lolohea tries; Shaun Johnson 2 goals) Def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20 (Sam Perrett 2, Kerrod Holland 2 tries; Kerrod Holland 2 goals). Half-time: 14-8. On report: Tim Browne (trip).