A Blake Green field goal with five minutes to play saw the Warriors come away with a 19-18 win over the Cronulla Sharks in a dramatic match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday night.
Green's field goal was one of three points scored in the final 12 minutes of the game while Cronulla played a man down for 10 minutes, due to the sin-binning of Andrew Fifita.
With his side leading by two points, Fifita inexplicably hit Lachlan Burr late and off the ball, resulting in a stint in the bin and essentially gifting the Warriors an opportunity to steal the game.
Warriors rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita kicked two points from the ensuing penalty to tie the game up at 18-18, before Green struck the killer blow minutes later.
Match: Warriors v Sharks
Round 18 -
Venue: Westpac Stadium
- LIVE PASS
Cronulla still had chances to force golden point, and even win the game, with a Jack Williams try claim called back for a knock on and Chad Townsend pushing a field goal attempt wide on the last play of the game.
It was the third time in four games that the Warriors have faced golden point, but the first where they picked up a win, following a 19-18 loss to Penrith in round 15 and an 18-18 draw with Brisbane last week.
It was undoubtedly a blown opportunity for the Sharks, who led from the eighth minute of the match through until the final 12, with the loss in Wellington being their fifth on the trot and dropping them further from the race for the top eight.
Earlier it had appeared Shaun Johnson was on track to exact revenge on his former side, having set up Briton Nikora's opening effort and played a key role in Sosaia Feki's second-half try.
Issac Luke had opened the scoring with a penalty, but following tries in quick succession to Nikora and Chad Townsend – both of which were converted by Johnson – the Sharks jumped out to a solid lead.
A probing run from Luke then saw him create a gap for Blake Green on 23 minutes, with the veteran playmaker showing impressive pace to break the line and round Matt Moylan.
The Warriors were dominating possession and scoring opportunities, but had to settle for another penalty goal early in the second half after failing to break through the Sharks' line despite forcing consecutive repeat sets.
Cronulla led by eight after Feki's try with 24 to play, but that effort was quickly cancelled out by Kodi Nikorima, who weaved through and over the line to reduce the gap to two.
With Fifita in the bin the Warriors tied it up via a penalty, before Green nailed the match-winner to give the Warriors their seventh victory of 2019.
On a positive note for the Sharks, they don't have to wait long for a shot at redemption, with Cronulla meeting the Warriors again in round 23.