The Warriors might not have set the world on fire but they did bank two vital competition points and got their season off to a winning start with a 26-22 win over the Newcastle Knights.

What is obvious is that this side will score plenty of tries and push the best sides in the competition if they can consistently win the play-the-ball battle or at least achieve parity there more than not. Shaun Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke showed glimpses of what they can do with quality ball but they need it on a regular basis to create trouble for opponents.

The concern was the fact the Warriors forwards weren't able to achieve parity against a young Knights pack for large portions of the game. When that doesn't happen the Warriors look like a one dimensional team and the likes of Johnson, Tuivasa-Sheck and Luke will attempt to create things when it isn't really on and that just produces mistakes.

The injuries to Simon Mannering and Luke will be of concern for coach Stephen Kearney - he cannot afford to be without either player if he hopes to beat the better sides in this competition.


Still getting the monkey of not winning on opening day since 2009 off their backs will be a great relief.

They weren't the only side to win ugly over the weekend - the Storm and Cowboys were scrappy at times but importantly came out on the right side of the ledger at fulltime.

Best performance - Dragons v Panthers

The Dragons created the biggest surprise in thrashing competition favourites Penrith on Saturday. Paul McGregor's side came into the season under serious pressure to perform and they proved some critics (including this writer) wrong with a strong effort. They got some help from a very poor Panthers outfit but the Dragons deserve plenty of kudos for their first-up effort.

Standout player - James Tedesco (Tigers)
Tigers fullback James Tedesco was involved in everything as the Tigers got the better of former skipper Robbie Farah and the Rabbitohs on Friday night. The NSW fullback was heavily involved all night running for close to 200m and popping up whenever the Tigers were in attack mode.

Key moment - Greg Inglis injury
Inglis injured his knee early in the game but tried to run it off. He battled on until the Tigers started to run away with the game and then succumbed. A diagnosis of an ACL injury and six-month layoff came through the next day and the Rabbitohs' chances of playing in September took a massive hit.

Greg Inglis suffered a serious knee injury against the Tigers. Photo / Getty Images
Greg Inglis suffered a serious knee injury against the Tigers. Photo / Getty Images


The Raiders conceded a huge number of penalties in their golden point loss to the Cowboys in Townsville. They got lucky after a melee involving a number of players from both sides however. Replays clearly showed centre Joseph Leilua punching Gavin Cooper in the face (an automatic sin bin) but the incident went unchecked. Moments later Leilua scored a crucial try. Thankfully the Cowboys went on to win the match in extra time.

Team of the Week
1.James Tedesco (Tigers)
2.Jordan Kahu (Broncos)
3.Latrell Mitchell (Roosters)
4.David Fusitua (Warriors)
5.David Nofoaluma (Tigers)
6.Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
7.Corey Norman (Eels)
8.David Klemmer (Bulldogs)
9.Cameron McInnes (Dragons)
10.Paul Vaughan (Dragons)
11.Josh Papali'i (Raiders)
12.Joel Thompson (Dragons)
13.Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
14.Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
15.Brenko Lee (Bulldogs)
16.Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
17.Jamie Buhrer (Knights)