Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Warriors began their run to the finals with a controlled and disciplined display against a Knights side, finishing 20-4 victors in front of more than 14,000 fans at Mt Smart Stadium.
Newcastle were sloppy and ill-disciplined for most of the game, while it was the Warriors who looked impressive from the outset, several powerful runs right from the start of the contest
It was the Knights who crossed first in the twelfth minute when Ken Sio picked up a stray pass and with a determined and powerful run, burrowed under several defenders to cross the line for a try. He was unable to convert his own four-pointer.
The hosts bagged two tries in five minutes just before halftime to go into the break with an 8 point lead. Just on the half hour mark Roger Tuivasa-Sheck pulled out a huge left foot step, linked with Shaun Johnson who then turned the ball back inside to Gerard Beale. Beale almost got to the line before getting a sweet offload away to Adam Blair who stormed onto the ball and dived over for a great try. Johnson converted.
In the 34th minute Johnson sent a brilliant long, cut-out pass to David Fusitu'a and the big winger steamrolled through the defence to score out wide. Johnson's sideline conversion was perfect.
The Warriors continued their dominance after the break and in the 50th minute Blake Green dummied left, hit the small gap, issued an epic fend on retiring Newcastle forward Chris Heighington and then raced away to score under the posts. Johnson potted the goal from right in front.
The Knights almost hit back 5 minutes later when a lovely grubber by Mitch Pearce very nearly produced a try for Aidan Guerra, but he was found to have knocked on.
With 2 minutes remaining in the game, Johnson added another two points with an easy penalty goal to give his side a 20-4 victory, which also saw them wipe their negative points differential and jump up the ladder above the Broncos. Next week the Warriors head to Sydney for a clash with Canterbury on Sunday afternoon, while Newcastle are away to Penrith.
Warriors 20 - Newcastle Knights 4
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Halftime Score: Warriors 12 Newcastle Knights 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Shaun Johnson
2 points - Blake Green
1 points - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Tries: Adam Blair, David Fusitua, Blake Green
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Shaun Johnson (1/1)
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (4)
Tries: Ken Sio
Conversions: Ken Sio (0/1)