Warriors 12 Roosters 10

The Warriors claimed their third consecutive NRL win for the first time in almost a year by narrowly dispatching the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium last night.

Confidence can come and go but the Warriors have harnessed the intangible quality over the past three weeks, following up impressive displays against Brisbane and Newcastle with a nervous and grinding effort in front of 14,026 fans.

The Roosters scored first in the 21st minute through back-rower Mitchell Aubusson, before an Issac Luke penalty saw the Warriors trail 4-2 at the break.

The Warriors celebrate Shaun Johnson's try. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The Warriors celebrate Shaun Johnson's try. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Repeated infringements provided Luke with two more shots at goal early in the second-half before a piece of Shaun Johnson brilliance gave the Warriors their first try and a 12-4 lead in the 64th minute.

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The Roosters then put themselves back in the match with a converted Connor Watson try setting up a grandstand finish, but the Warriors held their nerve with some brave goal-line defence.

"That's very satisfying that one," said coach Andrew McFadden.

"I don't think we've won too many games like that. They (Roosters) came out were aggressive and although it wasn't pretty we stayed composed and got them where it counts.

"We know that when things go well for us we can do that but it's when we get challenged we haven't been good in the past but today we were."

Issac Luke. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Issac Luke. Photo / Jason Oxenham

The home side had to overcome some adversity early on with head-knocks forcing prop Albert Vete and five-eighth Thomas Leuluai off, while left wing Ken Maumalo, in his first NRL appearance for the season as a replacement for the injured Manu Vatuvei, was sinbinned for a professional foul.

Leuluai's enforced absence put rookie Nathaniel Roache out of position on the right wing with David Fusitu'a covering fullback to accommodate Tui Lolohea's shift into the pivot role.

The side suffered a disrupted preparation with Johnson struggling to overcome a quad injury sustained last week, and a virus also prevented captain Ryan Hoffman from training midweek.

The No7 was below his best and was given little room to move by the visitors swarming defence, but McFadden was pleased with his commitment and contribution.

"He battled with it all week but managed to get himself through the game," he said. "It's not going to go down in the highlights reel but it was a solid performance.

"It was important that we found a way to win today and that's good for our confidence."

Luke stepped up to assist with the kicking duties and stamped his mark on the match in the second-half with some surging runs out of dummyhalf giving the side direction and momentum following two missed try-scoring chances down the left-edge.

The result levels their win-loss record to seven apiece and lifts them into seventh position with 16 points on the NRL ladder, with the 11th-placed Titans on 14 points ahead of tonight's clash against Manly on the Gold Coast.

After struggling for form and cohesion during an inconsistent start to the season, the State of Origin period has again coincided with the Warriors annual charge towards finals football.

Cynics will point out their purple patch started against an out-of-sorts Broncos side following the first interstate game, while the struggling Knights and Roosters are occupying 16th and 15th spots on the NRL ladder.

Bigger challenges loom ahead, starting with next Saturday's away match against second-ranked Cronulla, who are enjoying a 10-game winning streak, but the gritty result could be the best possible preparation.

"They'll have a full contingent to work with and they're a battle-hardened team so it's a timely challenge for us," said McFadden.

Warriors 12 (Shaun Johnson try, Issac Luke 1 con, 3 pens)
Roosters 10 (Mitchell Aubusson, Connor Watson tries, Sio Siua Taukeiaho con)