, 5 Apr '04
IT's taken four weeks, but the New Zealand Warriors
have finally cracked it for a win and a smile.
They Warriors weren't back to their best at Brookvale
Oval today, but they did enough to end their winless
start to the NRL season with a 28-10 victory over a
"You've got to crack a smile," Warriors coach
Daniel Anderson said afterwards.
"There's been a lot of frowning in the first three
rounds. We can smile for the next hour or so. It was a
The Warriors led 6-4 at halftime and ran over the top of
the Sea Eagles in the second half as experienced forwards
Jerry Seuseu, Richard Villasanti and Ali Lauiti'iti began
to feast on a succession of Manly errors.
Rookie back rower Epalahame Lauaki, playing only his
fourth game, also produced an eye-catching performance,
scoring two tries and trading verbal blows with Manly's
"I was just talking in Tongan to him and letting him
know I am Tongan as well," the quietly-spoken Lauaki
He wasn't the only person on the field to get on the
wrong side of Hopoate.
The former NSW and Australian forward was engaged in a
running battle with referee Paul Simpkins most of the
second half and finished the match in the sin-bin after
questioning why Simpkins had become a whistleblower.
"The weight of possession is against you and things
don't work, that leads to frustration and frustration
turns into lack of discipline," Manly coach Des
"I guess that discipline was more through lack of
"John will be spoken to. He knows it's quite
unacceptable. He's got enough experience and enough guile
to realise it is unacceptable.
"As I said I think it was borne more out of
The Warriors had the better of the opening half but went
to the break with only a Lauiti'iti try to show for it.
But they looked a different side in the second stanza and
took the game by the scruff of the neck in the 50th
minute when fullback Brent Webb crossed for the first of
his two tries.
The Warriors added a four-pointer three minutes later
through Lauaki, who finished off a brilliant team try
involving Clinton Toopi and Henry Fa'afili.
Lauaki was in again in the 72nd minute before Webb scored
another trademark Warriors effort involving Sione
Faumuina, Lauiti'iti, Tony Martin and Vinnie Anderson.
"He was very unlucky not to play last year,"
Anderson said of Lauaki.
"We didn't really give him an opportunity to play
last year. No-one's form dropped. This year the window
came open for him and I think he's grabbed it with both
Anderson was also delighted with the performance of his
senior players after a victory that moved the Warriors
off the bottom of the table a place where the Sea
Eagles now reside.
"We said at halftime, the young blokes provide
plenty of enthusiasm and they provide a bit of spark but
it's the senior players and old hardheads ... they're the
ones who have to bring us home in games," he said.
"I thought Ali, Stacey (Jones) and Awen (Guttenbeil)
all contributed to the second half. Webby's had a very
good second half, these are the guys who are going to win
games for us."
Warriors five-eighth Jerome Ropati finished the match
with a jaw injury and will have further tests when he
returns to New Zealand.
|NZ WARRIORS 28
(E Lauaki 2 B Webb 2 A Lauiti'iti tries S
Famuina 4 goals) bt
(P Stephenson A Watmough tries A Walker goal)
at Brookvale Oval.
Referee: P Simpkins.
1 - Andrew WALKER
2 - Scott DONALD
3 - Albert TORRENS
4 - Paul STEPHENSON
5 - Chris HICKS
6 - Jye MULLANE
7 - Michael MONAGHAN
8 - Daniel HECKENBERG
9 - Chad RANDALL
10- Ian DONNELLY
11- Sam HARRIS
12- John HOPOATE
13- Luke WILLIAMSON
14- Jason King
16- Anthony WATMOUGH
17- Kylie LEULUAI
18 - Kane CLEAL