Warriors v Roosters: Five key points

The Warriors kicked a last-minute penalty to beat the Roosters 14-13 on Sunday afternoon in Auckland. Here are the five key points from the Round 9 match.

Desperate defence lifts Warriors

After dominating the first half the Warriors had to endure an onslaught in the second, as the Roosters enjoyed a glut of possession in the attacking half.

On numerous occasions the home side repelled repeat sets, while there were a number of defensive acts, both individual and as a team, which kept them in a position to win the game.

Veteran back-rower Ryan Hoffman also charged down attempted field goals twice in the final 12 minutes, while earlier Roger Tuivasa-Sheck produced a miraculous try-saving effort on Jake Friend with half an hour remaining.

"The way we kept turning up and the scramble, once you see each other doing that everyone gets a lift and just builds off that," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

Robinson backs penalty decision

Roosters coach Trent Robinson had no issues with the offside penalty which ultimately cost his side the match, backing the decision post-match.

The visitors appeared to have survived a late Warriors raid before referee Ashley Klein called play back after ruling Mitchell Pearce had been offside in an earlier involvement, with Shaun Johnson stepping up to nail the match-winning penalty from 20 metres out.

"Yeah it was offside, that's the rule," Robinson said.

"It was a genuine penalty, he needed to get back onside and he didn't."

Robinson instead rued some earlier poor discipline from his side which saw them give away a penalty on the previous set, gifting the Warriors possession inside the attacking third.

 

Second halves remain a concern for Warriors

For the third week in a row the Warriors were outplayed and outscored through the second 40 minutes of a match.

After taking a 12-4 lead into the break the Warriors leaked seven points in the second period and scored just two, which on this occasion was still enough to get them home.

Coach Stephen Kearney admitted much of his side's performance in the second stanza had been disappointing.

"It was probably a little lack of composure… maybe energy," Kearney said.

"The first couple of sets the Roosters had [in the second half] they looked like they had been shot out of a cannon, they really came out with some energy. It probably just rocked us a little bit there."


Familiar situation, different result for Roosters 

After coming up with a clutch field goal in golden point to beat the Dragons 13-12 in Round 8, the Roosters came agonisingly close to repeating it on Sunday but couldn't ice the result.

After Pearce showed considerable composure to kick a field goal with five minutes to go, after twice having earlier attempts charged down, the Tricolours looked to have secured a come-from-behind result in Auckland.

"You have got to be able to finish those, we did last week and we didn't this week," Robinson said.

"We got the opportunity, we defended the short kick off really well and then we should have planted them down there just a little bit more."

Rookie rises to the occasion

In greasy conditions on NRL debut and playing opposite experienced representative players in Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Daniel Tupou, Warriors rookie Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad could have been forgiven for going into his shell a little in the closing minutes.

Instead the 21-year-old winger went looking for a way to help his side, drawing praise from his coach on an afternoon where he ran for 114 metres and did everything asked of him in defence.

"I thought he was wonderful," Kearney said.

"For a young man he didn't look out of place out there and the more game sort of got really nail-biting the more he stepped himself into the game.

"I thought that was a real positive sign from him. 

"To be fair I didn't have that expectation of him performing that well… he exceeded what I thought he was capable of."