NRL: Warriors notch back-to-back victories

New Zealand Warriors 24
Sydney Roosters 12

Ukuma Ta'ai of the Warriors offloads to Micheal Luck. Photo / Getty Images
Ukuma Ta'ai of the Warriors offloads to Micheal Luck. Photo / Getty Images

The New Zealand Warriors tonight made it back-to-back victories in the National Rugby League, downing the Sydney Roosters 24-12 in Auckland.

But the win came at a price, with young fullback Glen Fisiiahi carried off six minutes from halftime.

A two-try hero in the defeat of Cronulla in Taupo last weekend, Fisiiahi was on an elusive jinking run, beating four opponents, before bad luck struck.

He was sandwiched in a tackle by backrower Daniel Conn and winger Justin Carney and his left leg was bent back in ugly fashion.

Fisiiahi, 20, didn't make it back on to the field and early diagnosis was a high ankle strain.

The Warriors have already lost two of their other attacking weapons, with winger Manu Vatuvei and centre Jerome Ropati succumbing to knee complaints.

Vatuvei is expected back next month, but Ropati is out for the rest of the season.

Fisiiahi's departure meant Lance Hohaia, recalled to the bench as back-up dummy half after being dropped last week, reverted back to his usual position of late of fullback.

Hohaia stamped his mark on the contest early in the second half when his deft footwork produced a try that James Maloney converted for a 16-6 lead.

In a physical encounter that featured a fair share of errors, the Roosters struck first with a long-range attack after 14 minutes.

Winger BJ Leilua was released down the left and his big break was finished off by Kiwi centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall for his fifth try of the year.

The Warriors struck back when five-eighth Feleti Mateo produced a deft kick into the in-goal and winger Krisnan Inu pounced to score.

The home side responded to the loss of Fisiiahi by hitting the front on the verge of halftime.

Centre Lewis Brown, who was one of the Warriors' best with some high impact runs, dummied his way over to give the Warriors a 10-6 lead at the interval.

Hohaia's try pulled them further ahead.

Minutes later is looked like they were in again when skipper Simon Mannering made a huge break, but his offload to unmarked winger Bill Tupou went forward.

Mateo, who mixed some good touches with pushed offloads that led to turnovers, then threw a loose pass that the Roosters swooped on.

From the ensuing attack, halfback Mitchell Pearce went over for a converted try.

Some great work from Leilua prevent Tupou from getting the ball down in the in-goal.

But the Warriors did extend their lead thanks to a a huge defensive mix-up by the Roosters on the fifth tackle, which ended with Pearce throwing a pass to no-one.

Centre Shaun Berrigan snapped up the loose ball to dot down under the posts, Maloney added the extras and then sealed the result with a late penalty.

New Zealand Warriors 24 (Krisnan Inu, Lewis Brown, Lance Hohaia, Shaun Berrigan tries; James Maloney 4 goals) Sydney Roosters 12 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Mitchell Pearce tries; Braith Anasta 2 goals) HT: 10-6 Referees: Jason Robinson and Chris James Crowd: 13,312

- NZPA

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