The Vodafone Warriors weathered a strong comeback before surging back to complete back-to-back away successes with their 36-22 win over North Sydney in Saturday’s 11th-round New South Wales Cup encounter at North Sydney Oval.
The Rohan Smith-coached side, coming off a 22-18 win over Manly at Brookvale Oval last weekend, was in position tom control the contest when centre Carlos Tuimavave scored his second try just four minutes short of halftime.
With on-target Mason Lino converting his side’s fourth try of the first half, the Vodafone Warriors were 24-6 ahead.
The position of strength wasn’t to last, though, as they conceded a try right on halftime and another two in the first 25 minutes of the second half to leave them just 24-22 ahead with 15 minutes to play.
Inside the last 10 minutes, the Vodafone Warriors dictated terms, rediscovering their groove to arrange tries for prop Charlie Gubb and a second for the day to replacement standoff Sam Cook. Lino converted both for a perfect six out of six and the Vodafone Warriors had their sixth win in 11 starts, moving to 15 points and firming their hold on sixth spot on the ladder.
Having opened the scoring with Tuimavave’s first try in the 13th minute, they then allowed North Sydney a leveller before putting together a concerted phase which yielded three tries through Cook, Aganatius Paasi and Tuimavave again to leap to a 24-6 advantage.
There was reason for anxiety when the Bears, running second to last in the competition, were able to claw their way back into the encounter but ultimately the rearranged Vodafone Warriors line-up had the wherewithal to get the job done on the road for the second week running.
They now face the comfort of their first outing this season at Mount Smart Stadium when they feature on the tripleheader bill for the club’s Return to Mount Smart’ appearance, all three teams up against their Newcastle counterparts.
At North Sydney Oval, Sydney
North Sydney Bears 22 (Curtis Johnston 2, Chris Grevsmuhl, Duncan Low tries; Kurt Aldridge 3 conversions).
Vodafone Warriors 36 (Carlos Tuiimavave 2, Sam Cook 2, Agnatius Paasi, Charlie Gubb tries; Mason Lino 6 conversions).
Halftime: 24-12 Vodafone Warriors.
Referee: Jeff Hartup.
Vodafone Warriors: Steve Waetford (c); Agnatius Paasi, Solomone Kata, Carlos Tuimavave, Jarred Wilson; Sam Cook, Mason Lino; Charles P Gubb, Michael Sio, Upu Poching; Dominique Peyroux, Raymond Faitala Mariner; John Palavi. Interchange: Abraham Papalii, Sam Lisone, Michael Ki, David Bhana.