Newcastle had too many weapons for the Vodafone Junior Warriors as it marched to a 48-10 victory in today’s first-round NYC encounter at Mount Smart Stadium.
The home side was only briefly in contact when co-captain Kenese Kenese drove over to leave his side just 6-10 adrift after 20 minutes but the Knights were always able to dictate terms.
Two tries had them 22-12 ahead at halftime and quickly extended to 28-6 after the break when Jack Johns – the great Andrew Johns’ son – scored.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors responded soon after with a Dylan Tavita try but the Knights ran in a further four tries to finish well clear leaving new Vodafone Junior Warriors coach Grant Pocklington and his players disappointed.
Match details | Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Junior Warriors 10 (Kenese Kenese, Dylan Tavita tries; Kane Telea conversion).
Newcastle Knights 48 (Hayden Loughrey 2, Matt Cooper 2, Dean Kouka-Smith, Tom Starling, Jack Johns, Brayden Musgrove, Pasami Saulo tries; Kainoa Gudgeon 6 conversions).
Halftime: 22-6 Knights.
Referees: Tim Roby and Chris Treneman.
Vodafone Junior Warriors | Kane Telea; Lewis Soosemea, Junior Pauga, Melino Fineanganofo, Mat Faitotoa, Edward Vaeau-Mulitalo; Chanel Harris-Tavita, Eiden Ackland; Kenese Kenese (c), Chris Sio (c), Jordan Pinnock; Joe Vuna, Shane Hannam; Soane Hufanga. Interchange: Dylan Tavita, Tayhler Paora, Jerome Mamea, Havi Tupouniua.