The Warriors have lived up to their billing as favourites to win the Auckland Nines by putting in an outstanding performance to beat both the Raiders and the Sea Eagles at Eden Park today.
There was plenty of anticipation about how the New Zealand side would go at this tournament, especially with the strong squad they selected and the home team didn't disappoint.
Strangely, the Warriors made a terrible start to their 25-14 win over the Raiders with Mitch Cornish scoring in the second minute after capitalising on the home team turning over the ball from the kickoff.
However, the Warriors were back in the game minutes later with Shaun Johnson making a big break up the middle of the park and Glen Fisiiahi finishing off the attack with a try.
Johnson's successful drop goal conversion then put the home side up by a point.
The next Warriors' try was incredible; starting with Konrad Hurrell charging the ball up the middle before Sam Tomkins went on to throw a stunning pass to Shaun Johnson who had the vision to slip past three defenders and score a five-pointer under the posts.
Up 13-4 at the break, the Warriros extended their lead early in the second half with Suaia Matagi finishing off another breathtaking attack.
Andrew Heffernan picked up a consolation try for the Raiders with four minutes to go, but Solomone Kata got the crowd on their feet again shortly after with another Warriors try. Jarrad Kennedy scored the last try of the match for the Raiders.
The Warriors again made a poor start in their second game but were far too strong for the Sea Eagles, taking a 25-4 win.
The Warriors were slow to start again with Fisiiahi spilling the ball from the kick-off which started a period of pressure that resulted in a try for James Hanson.
In the last minute of the first half the Warriors were able to hit back with Sione Lousi finishing off a move highlighted by some slick passing. Johnson landed the kick to make the score 6-4 at the break.
Three minutes into the second half there was another Warriors try with Fisiiahi making the break before flicking a pass to Dominique Peyroux who touched down.
Further tries to David Fusitua, Shaun Johnson and Tuimoala Lolohea followed to give the Warriors their second convincing win of the day.
The home team play the Cowboys in their final pool game tomorrow and have all but confirmed their place in the quarterfinals.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Sharks 15-12 Knights
Titans 22-7 West Tigers
Warriors 25-14 Raiders
Eels 18-11 Roosters
Broncos 20-4 Bulldogs
Sea Eagles 17-8 Cowboys
Panthers 14-11 Storm
Rabbitohs 23-4 Dragons
SECOND ROUND RESULTS
Wests Tigers 21-15 Sharks
Knights 25-14 Titans
Roosters 14-7 Broncos
Eels 23-6 Bulldogs
Warriors 25-4 Sea Eagles
Cowboys 24-0 Raiders
Storm 18-12 Rabbitohs
Panthers 23-8 Dragons
- © Fairfax NZ News
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