Experience won over youth when a New South Wales Cup selection prevailed 40-12 over a club NYC combination in an all-Vodafone Warriors trial at Toll Stadium in Whangarei today.
The young NYC side opened brightly and richly deserved the first try, going left with a cut-out ball giving the wing Lewis Soosemea a try in the corner.
Settling into their work, the NSW Cup selection returned serve. Putting real heat on the NYC goal-line defence, the New South Wales Cup side earned a repeat set after an error and quickly engineered a try for loose forward James Bell, the ex-Vodafone Junior Warrior running hard at the line to score between the posts.
Prop Mattais Heimuli went close to giving the NYC line-up the lead but had the ball jolted loose as he was about to ground it for the go-ahead try.
After the first break for drinks, the NYC side put some more sharp sequences together but it was NSW Cup team, coached today by Ricky Henry and Grant Pocklington, which provided potent back-to-back statements.
First back rower Pat Sipley scythed through and then numbers were created for left wing Mose Esera to go over wide out, Dillon Rota converting Sipley’s try for a 16-4 lead.
Only desperate scrambling defence prevented a fourth NSW Cup try when a try-bound Reece Joyce was halted just short of the line.
Straight after halftime, the score became 22-4 when teenager Eddie Wulf – who’s in the Vodafone Warriors’ NYC squad this year – hit the line at pace to score the NSW Cup team’s fourth try but the NYC combination fired up with back-to-back tries.
The exciting Soosemea had his second wide out and then hooker Sheldon Pitama scooted in to make the score 22-12.
The margin went out to 14 points when the NSW Cup team had numbers aplenty to their right. It was catch and pass and centre Daniel Liddicoat coasted in for a try Joyce couldn’t convert.
Two Rota tries and one for hooker Jethro Friend rounded out the scoring of the NSW Cup line-up in a trial which proved a more than useful workout for both squads.
Vodafone Warriors New South Wales Cup 40 (Dillon Rota 2, James Bell, Pat Sipley, Mose Esera, Eddie Wulf, Mark Liddicoat, Jethro Friend tries; Dillon Rota conversion).
Vodafone Warriors NYC 12 (Lewis Soosemea 2, Sheldon Pitama tries).
Halftime: 16-4 NSW Cup.