Vodafone Junior Warriors second rower Sione Feao grabbed two tries in the Vodafone Junior Warriors' NYC win over Cronulla on Saturday. Photo: Photosport


The Vodafone Junior Warriors retained their position in the top four with a third consecutive win when they accounted for Cronulla 34-14 in Saturday nights 21st-round NYC clash at Mount Smart Stadium.


Following hard-fought victories over Wests Tigers and Melbourne, this was another tough tussle despite the ultimate 20-point winning margin.


The Sharks came to Auckland running 15th yet opened with the first try of the game and were only 10-16 adrift at halftime.


They scored their third try soon after the break to have the contest just 16-14 in the home sides favour.


This was the time when the Vodafone Junior Warriors grinding efforts in their previous two games came into play. They stayed patient, defended well and eventually turned the match in the final quarter when they picked up three tries to clear away, the last of them in the final minute when second rower Sione Feao scored his second try of the day.


Standoff Tuimoala Lolohea didnt add to his try tally but kicked five goals from six attempts to lift his points tally to 96 for the season.


The match also had a positive outcome for three players in particular winger Braxton Stanley, halfback Mason Lino and centre Solomone Kata. They were all coming back from injury lay-offs, Stanley, in fact, having his first match of the year after an injury-dominated two seasons which resulted in him playing only five NYC games in 2012.


He had the satisfaction of scoring his sides first try in the seventh minute with his first touch.


Match details:


At Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Junior Warriors 34 (Sione Feao 2, Braxton Stanley, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Sam Cook, Sam Lisone tries; Tuimoala Lolohea 5 conversions).

Cronulla Sharks 24 (Faamanu Brown, Levi Sopi, Sione Masima tries; Jake Walsh conversion).

Halftime: 16-10 Vodafone Junior Warriors.

Referees: Shane Rehm and Peter Gough.


Vodafone Junior Warriors: Ngataua Hukatai; Metia Lisati, Solomone Kata, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Braxton Stanley; Tuimoala Lolohea, Eko Malu; James Taylor, Michael Sio (c), Kouma Samson, Stedman Lefau, Sione Feao; Sam Cook. Interchange: Mason Lino, Sam Lisone, Abraham Papalii, Toafofoa Sipley.