Rugby: Young Warriors record big win

Bunty Afoa goes over for one of two tries for the Warriors yesterday. Photo / Getty Images
Bunty Afoa goes over for one of two tries for the Warriors yesterday. Photo / Getty Images

New signing Issac Luke, veteran Manu Vatuvei and comeback second-rower Ben Henry all came through their first appearances of the year unscathed as the Warriors overcame the Titans 40-18 in yesterday's NRL trial in Whangarei.

The senior trio all came off the field as planned shortly before halftime and didn't return, each of them making strong contributions.

There was much to like in a hit-out in which the Warriors finished with a line-up dominated by players still NYC-eligible or only just out of the grade. Two of them - Bunty Afoa and Semisi Tyrell - scored four of the side's seven tries and Ata Hingano kicked four conversions.

The Warriors' opening salvoes were impressive and aggressive.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner had a double inside nine minutes, including one when a last-tackle kick cannon-balled off players before the second-rower latched onto it.

Luke was slick out of dummy half and Vatuvei produced some strong carries up the middle in his first appearance since shoulder surgery.

Henry was good in his first game since a second knee reconstruction.

The Warriors take on the Dragons in Nelson in a second trial on Saturday.

Warriors 40 (R. Faitala-Mariner 3, S. Tyrell 2, B. Afoa 2 tries; I. Luke 2 gls; A. Hingano 4 gls) Titans 18 (B. Anderson, M. Robinson, T. Roberts-Davies, M. Boyle tries; J. Fogarty gl). HT: 16-8.

- Herald on Sunday

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