The Vodafone Junior Warriors are up to fifth spot as they contemplate a battle against competition-leading Penrith in next Saturday nights 10th-round NYC clash at Centrebet Stadium.
While the Panthers eked out a 10-6 victory over Melbourne on Sunday their eighth win of the season the Vodafone Junior Warriors recovered from a shock loss to Gold Coast by outpointing Canterbury-Bankstown 34-24 at Westpac Stadium Wellington on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs went into the contest one point ahead of their opponents on the NYC ladder and, after conceding an early try, they found joy going to their left edge to create a hat-trick in the space of 15 minutes for winger John Talioe Sila.
All too quickly their 14-6 lead evaporated as the Vodafone Junior Warriors warmed to their task. Prop Sam Lisone was unstoppable as he carved to the line for a 31st-minute try followed in dying moments of the half by standoff Tuimoala Loloheas second try. Mason Lino, influential on attack, was also in impressive goal-kicking touch converting all three tries to give his side an 18-14 halftime lead.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors made a fast start to the second half, too. The second half was just three minutes old when second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner stepped and surged through the Bulldogs left edge defence for a try not too dissimilar to his effort against the Titans a week earlier.
The visitors wouldnt go away, though, staying contact through Talioe Silas fourth try of the match. At that point the Bulldogs had more than a little hope but tries to Solomone Kata and David Fusitua put the result to bed, Kata scorching away after taking a brilliant off load from Faitala-Mariner.
While the result seemed relatively safe, there was time still for Talioe Sila to round out an exceptional scoring feat when he scored the Bulldogs fifth and final try.
At Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Vodafone Junior Warriors 34 (Tuimoala Lolohea 2, Sam Lisone, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Solomone Kata, David Fusitua tries; Mason Lino 5 conversions).
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 (John Talioe Sila 5 tries; Patrick Templeman 2 conversions).
Halftime: 18-14 Vodafone Junior Warriors.
Referees: Adam Gee and Shane Rehm.
Vodafone Junior Warriors: Ngataua Hukatai; Alamoti Finau, Solomone Kata, David Fusitua, Viliami Lolohea; Tuimoala Lolohea, Mason Lino; James Taylor, Michael Sio, Albert Vete; Raymond Faitalaa-Mariner, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, David Bhana (c). Interchange: Sam Lisone, Kurt Robinson, Vincent Afoa, Kouma Samson.