Sunshine Coast Eagles no match for Warriors
The Warriors have finished their pre-season in style, piling 13 tries on the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles in a demolition in Whangarei last night.
In even better news for coach Brian McClennnan, there were no fresh injury concerns for the club, which lost Jacob Lillyman, and Sam and Steve Rapira for the start of the season in the first two trial games.
The Queensland Cup side were always going to be up against it in front of a crowd of around 5000 at Toll Stadium, with the Warriors fielding NRL regulars Krisnan Inu, Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, and Lewis Brown.
The team also welcomed back Jerome Ropati for the first time since injuring his knee in round three last year.
Yet it was the young guns who shone for the Warriors, with Konrad Hurrell continuing to build his reputation as one of the best young offensive prospects in league.
The hulking Tongan turned human wrecking ball, setting up three tries, including one for Ropati in the second half when he fended off four defenders before releasing a superb offload.
Carlos Tuimavave proved his class at stand-off while Ukuma Ta'ai and Pita Godinet, both bit-part players for the first-grade squad last year, showing McClennan he has fine depth across the park.
The Warriors opened their account after six minutes, with Matulino crossing following a well-worked set that moved 60m upfield,
Vulcans regular Ivan Penehe crossed soon after, the recipient of a mercurial offload from Ropati.
The Sea Eagles, sparked by halfback and skipper Todd Murphy, enjoyed their only spell of dominance in the half, with Kane Richards rumbling over, but from there it was all Warriors.
Tries to Tuimavave and Godinet and a second for Penehe followed before the halftime whistle.
The second stanza was all Warriors.
Eight tries rained in, with Inu bagging a double, while Brown, Glen Fisiiahi, and Kevin Locke, who scored an eye-catching 50 metre run-away, all crossing. Kicking duties were shared between Locke, Inu and Henry, with Locke knocking over a couple of difficult ones early.
Sea Eagles winger Campbell Stewart snared a late consolation in the last minutes as Warriors' thoughts turned towards the opening match of the NRL, against the Manly Sea Eagles, at Eden Park in a fortnight.
Warriors 68 (I Penehe 2 B Matulino 2 K Inu 2 C Tuimavave P Godinet K Locke J Ropati L Brown G Fisiiahi B Henry tries K Inu 4 gl K Locke 3 gl B Henry gl) Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles 10 (K Richards C Stewart D Middleton gl). HT: 26-6