For the second straight week a hot first half has set the Vodafone Warriors up for victory as they headed off Canterbury-Bankstown 36-22 in today’s second-round Intrust Super Premiership clash at Mount Smart Stadium.
They opened their 2017 campaign impressively when they raced to a 42-4 lead over the Newcastle Knights last week and it was much the same today as they raced to a 30-4 advantage at the break against the Bulldogs today.
But just as they did on Sunday, they again lost momentum today managing just one second half try as the Bulldogs came back at them with three touchdowns.
There was no denying the home side in the opening 40 minutes, though, as they set about a second consecutive win.
Big prop Toafofoa Sipley sparked proceedings after just six minutes before centre Blake Ayshford grabbed Mason Lino’s cross-field kick for his side’s second try.
The perfect start was interrupted by Bulldogs captain Matt Frawley grabbing his side’s only points of the half but the Vodafone Warriors finished the spell impressively with tries to second rower Isaiah Papali’i, interchange prop Chris Satae and centre Semisi Fotu. Lino, who kicked eight out of nine against the Knights converted all five tries in the half.
There was no change to the score until midway through the second spell when the Bulldogs scored twice in the space of three minutes through Josh Cleeland and Tom Carr to close to within 14 points.
Coming off the bench, forward Daniel Palavi scored the Vodafone Warriors’ sixth try and Lino stroked his sixth straight goal with eight minutes to play to open up a 20-point lead.
The Bulldogs reduced the damage with a late try but the Vodafone Warriors finished with a comfortable victory having scored a total of 15 tries and 88 points in their first two outings of the year.
Details | Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Warriors 36 (Toafofoa Sipley, Blake Ayshford, Isaiah Papali’i, Chris Satae, Semisi Fotu, Daniel Palavi tries; Mason Lino 6 conversions).
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22 (Matt Frawley, Josh Cleeland, Tom Carr, Michael Morgan tries; Rhyse Martin 3 conversions).
Halftime: 30-4 Vodafone Warriors.
Vodafone Warriors | Matt Allwood; Junior Pauga, Semisi Fotu, Blake Ayshford, Manu Vatuvei; Sam Cook, Mason Lino (c); James Gavet, Jazz Tevaga, Toafofoa Sipley; Ofa Ogden, Isaiah Papali’i; James Bell. Interchange: Tevin Arona, Chris Satae, Pat Sipley, Daniel Palavi.