NYC: Vodafone Junior Warriors 24, Cronulla 20

For the second week running the Vodafone Junior Warriors were left looking at a final score-line of 24-20 but this time they were on the right side of it beating Cronulla for their first win of the 2013 NYC season. Photo: Photosport.


The John Ackland-coached side had a winning 20-14 lead against the Sydney Roosters last Saturday night before yielding two late tries to lose 20-24.


Again their advantage was precarious on the scoreboard today as their lead was trimmed to 24-20 with 20 minutes still to play.


But in searing heat the temperature soaring towards 30 degrees the Vodafone Junior Warriors held their nerve today while it could be said the Sharks lost theirs when they had chances to take a late lead.


There was ample evidence of the Vodafone Junior Warriors renowned power game returning, especially in the nature of most of their five tries.


Their first strike in the sixth minute has quality all over it as first-year centre Lafu Feagaiga cruised over wide out.


While there was a lull when penalties conceded gave Cronulla field position and a hit-back try, the Vodafone Junior Warriors produced their power game for back-to-back tries to second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner and interchange hooker Trent Bishop.


At 16-6 they were in good shape but again there were critical lapses allowing the Sharks to bite into the lead with two tries of their own and go to halftime level at 16-16.


Again the Vodafone Junior Warriors were on song as the second half opened, first Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard ploughing through defenders for a 43rd-minute try and winger Viliami Lolohea another in the 50th minute.


Unfortunately Lino couldnt convert either leaving the Sharks in contact just eight points adrift.


It became just four points when Cronulla scored in the 60th minute, ensuring there was plenty of anxiety over the last quarter.


Working in the Vodafone Junior Warriors favour was an improved completion rate while they also edged the penalties 7-5, 3-1 in the second half.


Among the Vodafone Junior Warriors best was Bishop, who ran the ball at the Sharks time after time from dummy half, making more than 120 metres from 15 runs and scoring a powerhouse try. Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard was also highly impressive in his first NYC game of the year.


The result enabled the Vodafone Junior Warriors to climb off the unfamiliar experience of last spot on the points ladder to a mid-table place.

Match details:


At Sharks Stadium, Cronulla

Cronulla Sharks 20 (Taylar Garrett, Alan Niulesa, Faamnu Brown, Anthony Moraitis tries; Jake Walsh 2 conversions).

Vodafone Junior Warriors 24 (Lafu Feagaiga, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Trent Bishop, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Viliami Lolohea tries; Mason Lino 2 conversions).

Halftime: 16-16.

Referees: Grant Atkins and Chris Sutton.


Vodafone Junior Warriors: Ngataua Hukatai; Viliami Kaveinga, Lafu Feagaiga, David Fusitua, Viliami Lolohea; Tuimoala Lolohea, Mason Lino; Albert Vete, Michael Sio, Sam Lisone; Raymond Faitalaa-Mariner, Stedman Lefau; David Bhana (c). Interchange: Ken Maumalo, Abraham Papalii, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Trent Bishop.