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Junior Warrior's Sheldon Pitama passes during a pre season Rugby League match. NSW Cup v Junior Warriors, Toll Stadium, Whangarei, New Zealand. Saturday 13 February 2016. Copyright Photo: Heath Johnson /

Two Wests Tigers strikes early in the second half stymied the Vodafone Warriors’ hopes of a recovery in their season-opening NYC encounter on Saturday.

The Vodafone Warriors snared a 6-4 lead through a Junior Pauga intercept try in the first half before conceding a 6-10 halftime deficit.

They were right in the contest, though, only to falter in the opening stages of the second half when the Tigers went across twice to claim a 22-6 lead.

The Vodafone Warriors then checked the Tigers’ progress with a try to loose forward Isaiah Papalii and had a chance of grinding their wat back into the affair.

It wasn’t to be with the Tigers hanging tough to eventually win by 14 points.

Match details | Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney

Wests Tigers 26 (Esan Marsters 2, Veiru Mapesone, Ryland Jacobs, Daniel Peck tries; Veiru Mapesone 3 conversions).

Vodafone Warriors 12 (Junior Pauga, Isaiah Papalii tries; Zion Ioka 2 conversions).

Halftime: 10-6 Tigers.

Vodafone Warriors | Kane Telea; Lewis Soosemea, Melino Fineanganofo, Junior Pauga, Levi McBirney; Chris Sio, Zion Ioka; Mattais Heimuli, Sheldon Pitama (c), Keanu Dawson; Joe Vuna, Ofahiki Ogden; Isaiah Papalii. Interchange: Tualima Tualima, Mose Esera, Kenese Kenese, Eddie Wulf.