With so many experienced NRL players in their ranks it stood to reason that the Vodafone Warriors should have too many weapons for Canterbury-Bankstown in today’s ninth-round Intrust Super Premiership match at Mount Smart Stadium.
And so it proved as they scored eight tries to overrun the winless Bulldogs 42-12 to surge to third spot on the ladder.
With Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson plus Sam Lisone and Albert Vete in the side through disciplinary reasons nothing less than a convincing victory was expected.
It made the task potentially awkward but the Vodafone Warriors didn’t disappoint.
Fullback Henare Wells weaved through defenders to score in the opening minutes and by the 16th minute the lead was out to 10-0 when Konrad Hurrell and Wells combined on a short side to give right wing Tomas Aoake easy try in the corner. Mason Lino’s superb conversion had the home side on the way.
Minutes late NRL winger Manu Vatuvei had the first to his two tries in his ISP debut, taking a long ball from Ata Hingano to go over out wide.
Three more tries followed before the half was out with a second for Wells off Hingano and Vete surged over between the posts to give the Vodafone Warriors a healthy 26-0 edge at the break. By that stage, coach Stacey Jones hadn’t used one interchange.
There was a wobble, literally, in the opening minutes of the second half when the Vodafone Warriors couldn’t cover a grubber which bounced about wickedly for fullback Brad Abbey to score.
It wasn’t a major issue as the Vodafone Warriors swept to their left to send Vatuvei in for his second of the day. The margin was out to 30-6, reduced slightly by a second Bulldogs try after 55 minutes but then out to 30 points through two more strikes.
First the accomplished Hingano dummied his way through and in the 72nd minute Aoake came up with a winger’s special when he expertly squeezed in at the corner to finish the scoring in the 72nd minute.
The Vodafone Warriors might have added more points and perhaps should have but a third straight win was more than cause for satisfaction for coach Jones and his team.
Match details | Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Warriors 42 (Henare Wells 2, Manu Vatuvei 2, Tomas Aoake 2, Albert Vete, Ata Hingano tries; Mason Lino 5 conversions).
Canterbury-Bankstown 12 (Brad Abbey, Renouf To’omaga tries; Craig Garvey 2 conversions).
Halftime: 26-0 Vodafone Warriors.
Referee: Jamal Thompson.
Vodafone Warriors | Henare Wells; Tomas Aoake; Konrad Hurrell, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Manu Vatuvei; Ata Hingano, Mason Lino; Ben Matulino, Nathaniel Roache, Albert Vete; Ligi Sao, Bodene Thompson; Sam Lisone. Interchange: Ali Lauitiiti, Upu Poching, James Bell, Erin Clark.