Dragons score late win over Warriors
A final-minute try to Kurt Mann has handed the Dragons their first win of the 2017 Downer Auckland Nines with a 14-10 triumph over local hopes the Warriors who were handed their third-straight defeat of the tournament.
Rookie playmaker Ata Hingano did his hopes of partnering Shaun Johnson in the halves for Round 1 no harm with a classy solo effort to give home fans something to cheer about on day two of the Nines.
Former Warrior Siliva Havili combined with Nene Macdonald for the immediate reply to put the Dragons ahead 6-4 at the break.
It took a moment of individual brilliance from Tuimoala Lolohea to get the home crowd on their feet as the utility back caught the ball, immediately put it on the toe and then regathered to force another lead change.
The see-sawing affair continued when Levi Dodd finished off some fantastic play by MacDonald on the other side of the field to tie up the game with five minutes remaining.
Having done all the early damage, Macdonald looked like he'd won it for the Red V, only for the officials to rule he'd grounded the ball short of the line and then lost it as he tried to reach the in-goal.
Macdonald's blushes were spared at the death as Mann did it all himself to seal the plucky win.
Dragons 14 (Nene Macdonald, Levi Dodd, Kurt Mann tries; 1 goal) def. Warriors 10 (Ata Hingano, Tuimoala Lolohea tries; 1 goal) Half-time: 6-4.