Winger Esera Esera and halfback Tuimoala Lolohea scored five tries between them as the Junior Warriors started their 2013 NYC trials programme with a 40-22 win over the Howick Hornets at Paparoa Park today.
Esera completed his hat-trick early in the second half while Lolohea, used off the bench, bagged the last two tries of the match.
Head coach John Ackland used a squad which didn't include any players with NYC experience.
Facing opposition from Auckland's Fox Memorial competition, the Junior Warriors began strongly with two early tries to lead 12-0 but by halftime the margin was just 16-10 in their favour.
While the Hornets conceded an early second half try to Abraham Papalii they wouldn't go away, scoring twice to trail 22-30 midway through the spell before Lolohea's brace sealed the victory.
Apart from Esera with three tries, Lolohea with two and Papalii with his effort, the other scorers were Ken Maumalo and Toafoa Sipley. Halfback Carlos Hotene and Lolohea converted four tries between them.
The Junior Warriors' next trial is against a Waicoa Bay Selection as the curtain-raiser to the Warriors-Penrith NRL trial at Waikato Stadium next Saturday.
- © Fairfax NZ News