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Kane Telea. Junior Warriors v Junior Eels

Defensive lapses cost the Vodafone Junior Warriors another heavy NYC defeat against the Parramatta Eels in today’s sixth-round NYC match going down 24-34 at Mount Smart Stadium.

Building momentum early, the Eels opened the scoring in the 10th minute when standoff Troy Dargan ran at the line, dummying his way through for a try down the left edge.

He was unable to convert the try giving the Eels a 4-0 lead.

Parramatta went at the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ right side again, standoff Dean Matterson finding fullback Anthony Layoun who swept around the back to score in the corner for an 8-0 lead.

With their next possession the Vodafone Junior Warriors headed to their left edge seeking an opportunity to score. Fullback Lee Turner passed to centre Kane Telea, who took his foot off the clutch before accelerating again to step back inside for a try.

Probing at the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ right side again, Parramatta found more joy with second rower Filia Utoikamanu scoring as he carried three defenders over with him. Dargan converted for a 14-6 lead.

With two minutes left in the first half, the Vodafone Junior Warriors couldn't check Parramatta's momentum, wing Greg Leleisiuao scooping up a loose ball and seeing a clear path down the touchline scoring a 40-metre runaway try. Dargan's conversion made it 20-6 at the break.

The second half began promisingly for the Vodafone Junior Warriors when smooth ball movement down the right side delivered a try for centre Gibson Popoalii to bring his side within 10 points of the Eels at 10-20.

The Eels answered back quickly, a grubber kick from Dargan grabbed by centre Dane Aukafolau, who passed it back inside to Dargan rewarding him with his second try.

Exchanging tries was the theme with Vodafone Junior Warriors wing Lewis Soosemea scoring in the 60th minute but the Eels replied swiftly with Utoikamanu snaring his second try to extend their lead to 32-14.

It was too late for the Vodafone Junior Warriors to avoid defeat but they regrouped in the last 10 minutes to derive some consolation.

A Dylan Tavita underarm offload handed a try to fullback Lee Turner who dodged his way through to dot down in the corner.

Another try followed off a strong run from Jerome Mamea, halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita supporting to go in for a try.

The Eels were given a penalty in the dying moments of the game and opted to take the two points to complete a 34-24 victory.

Match details | Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Junior Warriors  24 (Chanel Harris-Tavita, Lee Turner, Lewis Soosemea, Gibson Popoalii, Kane Telea tries; Dylan Tavita conversion; Chanel Harris-Tavita conversion).

Parramatta Eels 34 (Tangata Utoikamanu 2, Troy Dargan 2, Gregory Leleisiuao, Anthony Layoun tries; Troy Dargan 4 conversions, penalty).

Halftime: 20-6 Eels.

Vodafone Junior Warriors | Lee Turner; Lewis Soosemea, Kane Telea, Gibson Popoalii, Mat Faitotoa; Chanel Harris-Tavita, Dylan Tavita; Kenese Kenese, Erin Clark, Chris Sio; Joe Vuna, Preston Riki; Isaiah Papali'i (c). Interchange: Soane Hufanga, Tyler Slade, Nathan Newton, Jerome Mamea.

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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