Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was pleased with his side's determination after they ground out a patchy 23-16 NRL win over North Queensland in Townsville last night.

The Warriors scored three quick first-half tries to lead 18-2 but were nearly overwhelmed by the Cowboys in the second-half, before a Shaun Johnson field goal sealed the result for the visitors in the 79th minute.

The Warriors were forced to defend for long periods but poor execution and two no-try rulings from the video bunker saw the Cowboys denied several scoring chances as the clock wound down.

Kearney suggested the Warriors shortened preparation and heavy travel schedule may have contributed to their fatigue in the second-half, but was proud they managed to cling on defensively.


"It's a tough one in that I thought we did some really good things in the first half and we did some not so good things in the second-half," said Kearney.

"The Cowboys came out with a great deal of momentum in that second-half and we just failed to match it. They spent a lot of time down on our try line and had a lot of momentum and we were just hanging in there.

"Maybe the short turn-around into a big [trip] had its effect particularly at the back-end of the game, but I was just really pleased for the boys in the sense they found a way to win and keep the Cowboys out. Sometimes it's going to be like that and the boys dug in for each other and got the job done."

The victory comes after the Warriors had lost 11 of their previous 12 games at 1300Smiles Stadium and continues the side's transformation after managing just one away win last year.

The Warriors have now won six of seven matches on the road so far this season to give them their best away record since 2002, when the club progressed to their first grand final appearance.

The result keeps them in fourth spot on the premiership ladder on 22 points ahead of next week's break over the stand-alone representative weekend.

"I don't think we've really put any emphasis on [playing away]," said Kearney.

"We know each week if we take close to our best performance to the ground then we give ourselves an opportunity. When we have played well away that's all we've focused on, preparing well to play well.


"We didn't play so well tonight. The first half there were some good parts but we just found a way to get the job done so that was pleasing."

Fullback and captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck made a successful return from an ankle injury to have a hand in tries to left-wing Ken Maumalo and centre partner Solomone Kata, and scored a brilliant long-range effort himself.

The 25-year-old is one of several big name Warriors players in contention to play for New Zealand in next Sunday's [8am NZT] test against England in Denver, with new Kiwis coach Michael Maguire set to announce his side tomorrow night.

"I didn't want to come in and miss a beat and I'm happy that I was able to contribute in some of the plays," said Tuivasa-Sheck.

However, Kata suffered a hamstring injury in the second-half and along with wing David Fusitu'a, who went down with an ankle injury on match eve, is unlikely to be available for Tonga's Pacific test against Samoa in Sydney next Saturday.

The Warriors are expected to rest their Kiwi internationals for their next game against Cronulla at Mt Smart Stadium on June 29.

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