Talk about picking your moment.

In an NRL career spanning nine seasons and 152 games, Blake Green had never kicked a field goal.

Even during a four year stint in England – where he enjoyed plenty of success – the Warriors playmaker didn't knock over a one pointer.

But on Friday night in Wellington, the 32-year-old slotted a shot from 25 metres, to lift his team to a crucial 19-18 win over the Sharks.


It was just the second time in the last decade the Warriors had managed a match winning field goal and given the circumstances, in the context of the season, it was one of the most important plays of their 2019 campaign.

Nerves would have been shredded if the team found itself in golden point again, while a close loss would have been hard to recover from.

"It's very satisfying," said Green. "I'm really happy for our footy club, we have been working tremendously hard the last five or six weeks, we have been in every game."

And to nail the field goal must have been a sweet – and unique – feeling for the experienced half, after almost 250 games of top level footy.

"To be honest, when we played Penrith the other week, when I had a shot and it got charged down, that's the first shot I've had in first grade.

"I played with Cooper Cronk [at the Storm] who is pretty good at kicking them, then I played with Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly) who kicks them off both feet. I haven't had to pull the trigger, just the way it panned out in those teams."

Green played second fiddle to Kodi Nikorima in golden point last week, concentrating on setting the Kiwis half up, but didn't hestitate to take the initiative on Friday night, once the Warriors had drawn level through a late Chanel Harris-Tavita penalty.

Warriors' Lachlan Burr celebrates with Blake Green. Photo / Photosport
Warriors' Lachlan Burr celebrates with Blake Green. Photo / Photosport

"I didn't get to have a shot last week," said Green. "Kodi was playing really well, full of confidence. I was trying to orchestrate it to give him a chance to knock them over but it just didn't go our way.


"[On Friday night] with eight or nine minutes to go as we were lining up that [penalty] kick I said to Kodi, 'Mate, as soon as we get down there, we are going left post, I am going to pull the trigger here'.

"He said 'yup, you take it'. Once we got down there I made sure Bunty [Afoa] had a big carry, to give me some momentum and I just fired one. It was a calm set up and it paid off."

With all the focus on Shaun Johnson ahead of this match, as well as the hype around Nikorima's mid-season arrival, Green gave a timely reminder of his value with his best game of 2019.

He challenged the line all night, with nine runs for 94 metres, pinned the Sharks in the corners with his kicking game and helped to change the Warriors' tactics on the fly.

"It was something I had to do during the game," said Green. "Felt we were going a bit sideways too much. I thought we needed to play through the middle and be a bit more direct so I tried to take them on as much as I could."

Green also scored a sharp try, with a nicely angled run after Issac Luke had created space.

"It was good," said Green. "Don't get to score many these days, too busy organising everyone else."

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was again outstanding, with his constant energy and involvement allied with an ability to provide an attacking spark, with almost 300 running metres and eight tackle breaks.

The bench – through Afoa, Sam Lisone, Lachlan Burr and Harris-Tavita – also made a discernible difference while the pack as a whole provided a great platform.

"We had a really slow start, were poor defensively," said Green of the opening 15 minutes, where Cronulla got two sharp tries. "And [on attack] we were going wide, side to side, but in the wet conditions wasn't the right night for it. We needed to go through them.

"We have had two wins and a draw from our last three games. In the last month we have been a tough team, really gritty. We might have struggled to put teams away but they haven't been able to put us away either."