Warriors-Newcastle draw charity match
The New Zealand Warriors let a big second half slip to draw 22-22 with National Rugby League rival Newcastle Knights in a trial match at Greymouth's Wingham Park today.
The Warriors led 22-6 at one stage, but conceded two tries with four minutes left to ensure the spoils were shared.
The match, to honour the 29 men killed in the Pike River mine disaster as well as raising funds for the miners' relief fund and the West Coast Rugby League.
The Warriors, who showed off new signings Feleti Mateo, Shaun Berrigan and Krisnan Inu, and Newcastle took a 4-0 lead into the break after Berrigan sent Bill Tupou over in the corner in the last minute.
Both sides rang the changes at halftime with last season's player of the year at the Auckland Vulcans Pita Godinet making the most of his chance to impress.
An off-season signing with the Warriors, he worked a brilliant show and go to hoodwink the Knights' defence as he cut through for a superb try.
From the restart the Warriors roared straight back with Godinet carving through up the middle and feeding another newcomer Glen Fisiiahi on the inside for a fine try.
While Newcastle drew back to 6-16 after a try to Joel Edwards, the Warriors were seemingly in charge at the three-quarter mark with their fourth try.
Godinet was involved again, feeding Moon who again breached the line and produced a neat offload to give the pacy Fisiiahi his second try.
The Warriors led 22-6 and the match should have been in the bag, but the Warriors went to sleep on defence, first allowing Chris Houston in and then conceding late tries to Chris Adams and Simon Williams.
Newcastle's Peter Mata'utia missed the wide-angled conversion of the final try that would have given them the win.
The Warriors play the second of their four NRL trials in Rotorua on Saturday, against the Stephen Kearney-coached Parramatta Eels.
NZ Warriors 22 (Glen Fisiiahi 2, Bill Tupou, Pita Godinet tries; Krisnan Inu 3 cons).Newcastle Knights 22 (Joel Edwards, Chris Houston, Chris Adams, Simon Williams tries; Peter Mata'utia 3 cons). Halftime: 4-0 Warriors.