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

Michael Burgess: What an effort, from a bunch of unlikely lads

Warriors 26 Dragons 10

It's far from a new dawn - but it's fair to say today represented a new chapter in the history of the Warriors.

With a team sheet that no one could have expected, filled with names that only the most loyal fans would recognise, the Warriors not only banked a victory, they won in style.

A 26-10 result against their all time bogey team St George, and their best defensive effort of the season.

Not bad, not bad at all.

This match brought back a few memories of the `Baby Blacks' clash with France, and 30 years since that memorable day, this young Warriors side showed plenty of heart, grit and a fair amount of skill.

Everyone loves a good Cinderella story - which was perhaps why the team walked off to a standing ovation when they led 18-10 at halftime.

And what an effort, from a bunch of unlikely lads.

John Palavi hadn't played for the Warriors since the start of the 2014 season, Matt Allwood has been a fixture in reserve grade since he arrived two years ago and Sione Lousi has taken six years to accumulate 50 games.

It was unlikely stuff but the home side started well - with the opening try to Shaun Johnson after ten minutes - and grew into the game as the match went on.

It was also a highly entertaining game, with so many story lines. The return of Benji Marshall - and especially Russell Packer - to these shores, with Packer particularly prominent in the first half, and redemption for Issac Luke, after his eventful week.

It was also a day where the Warriors needed a bit of luck, and for one of the first times this season, they appeared to get the rub of the green.

The Dragons crossed the line twice in the first half, which in any other universe, in any other season, would have been tries, but the combination of the NRL's strange new interpretations and the Mensa graduates sitting in the video bunker denied both Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall, which may have made for a very different scenario in the second half.

And the Dragons have been almost as up and down as the Warriors this season, and they were poor today, finding new ways to make the same mistakes.

But they are minor details. The fact was the Warriors showed heart and desire in spades, and more than a little skill and that was enough to bank their fourth win of the season.

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

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday. He was named the 2013 New Zealand football writer of the year and was a finalist in the Sports Reporter of the year at the 2014 Canon Media Awards.

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