Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL: Warriors fall heavily to Dragons

Ata Hingano of the NZ Warriors. Photo / Getty Images
Ata Hingano of the NZ Warriors. Photo / Getty Images

It was an inauspicious start for the Warriors all-star spine, as the Auckland side lost 46-10 in their final trial against St George in Nelson.

Despite a Warriors' starting lineup featuring Issac Luke, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson, the Dragons were dominant throughout, leading 18-4 at halftime before running away with the match in the second half.

It's only a trial - and the scoreline isn't really important - but it's never a good look when you concede eight tries. As has happened many times over the last few seasons, Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop were too smart for the home side, engineering some of the Dragons' best moments.

In contrast the Warriors never got into gear and were full of mistakes, though Shaun Johnson got some decent minutes under his belt which was a positive sign. The new centre combination of Tui Lolohea and Blake Ayshford also had plenty of game time, as did Solomone Kata.

Josh Dugan created the first try for Euan Aitken, then the New South Wales fullback crossed himself minutes later.

Kata opened the scoring for the Warriors off a long ball from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, before the Dragons got their third try right on halftime.
The second half didn't provide much joy for the vocal support at Trafalgar Park and at one point the Warriors trailed 34-4.

Johnathan Wright grabbed the Warriors second try after clever build up work from Ata Hingano, but the visitors had the final say through former Warrior Siliva Havili.

NRL PRE-SEASON

Warriors 10
Dragons 46

- Herald on Sunday

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