Rugby league: New Zealand Warriors fail to flatter in victory over Wests Tigers

Warriors 16
Tigers 12

The Warriors are on the board in the NRL but victory over the Wests Tigers can’t hide the massive problems in Nathan Brown’s misfiring squad.

After losses to the Dragons and Titans, the Warriors managed to ride their luck, just, in a 16-12 win over the team generally regarded as the worst in the competition.

The Tigers were on the wrong side of a bewildering decision from the match officials at Campbelltown in Sydney.

With the score at six-all in the 20th minute, they failed to check on a potential Wests try when chasing forward Luciano Leilua seemed to get fingertip pressure on the ball.

It was a decision in keeping with a ramshackle game, of lost ball and opportunities from two sides who won’t trouble the trophy engraver at the end of the season.

Tigers fullback Daine Laurie also bombed a lead-taking try, after chasing a clever chip kick from halfback Luke Brooks, which summed up the abysmal standard of the game.

This was a reasonably entertaining contest, but not often in the best sense. There was enough entertainment however, and most of the best stuff came from the home side.

Both teams had long-range try scoring chances snuffed out in the second spell.

Reece Walsh was threatening a 100-metre special but pulled up with cramp. And Tigers five-eighth Jock Madden, grabbing the ball from another failed Warriors attack, threatened to go the distance but was hauled in by Marcelo Montoya, who was sin binned for the delaying tackle.

The Tigers had made some late lineup adjustments with former Warriors wing Ken Maumalo ruled out through a training ground injury, and under-pressure coach Michael Maguire stationing forward Luke Garner in the centres.

The Warriors looked set for a comfortable 14-6 halftime lead with just three minutes left in the spell, before a burst of Tigers energy almost saw them head down the tunnel with a lead.

Wests launched quick-fire long-range raids, the first bringing a try to Zane Musgrove from a midfield bomb, and the second only just falling short as a fumble gave Warriors fullback Walsh enough time to cut the move dead.

The home side had started well with an early James Tamou try, the captain smashing through Josh Curran and Walsh after Matt Lodge’s fumble put an end to a Warriors attack.

But it doesn’t take much to knock the confidence in this Tigers outfit, and they lost their way as the Warriors gained a bit of momentum.

The pressure eventually told with the Tigers’ problems under the high ball handing tries to Euan Aitken and Adam Pompey.

The Warriors could have been further in front but a great Curran offload in front of the Wests posts went to waste.

Another try at that point could have knocked the stuffing out of the fragile Tigers but instead their late first half raids put much-needed life into a game well short on the highest NRL quality.

Warriors 16 (Euan Aitken, Adam Pompey tries; Reece Walsh 2 cons, 2 pens)
Tigers 12 (James Tamou, Zane Musgrove tries, Luke Brooks 2 cons)
Halftime: 14-12

Source: Read Full Article