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Lewis Soosemea. Junior Warriors v Junior Roosters

Disappointment hit the Vodafone Junior Warriors again when the Sydney Roosters surged to a 24-16 victory in Sunday's ninth-round NYC match at Mount Smart Stadium.

While they had been winless in the first eight rounds, they'd been in contention several times and yesterday the contest played out in a similar fashion.

The start couldn't have been more astonishing.

With hooker Erin Clark unable to start as planned - he was on the bench - Eiden Ackland was thrust into the role and, in a matter of seconds, he had scored the opening try. 

It came courtesy of a muscular bust from centre Melino Fineanganofo who off loaded to Ackland on his shoulder. Away he raced, going close to 80 metres to score.

Only 10 minutes later the Vodafone Junior Warriors were out to 10-0, Fineanganofo the beneficiary rather than the benefactor on this occasion.

The Roosters bit into the lead with a Lachlan Lam try pulling the score-line back to 10-6 in the home side's favour at the break.

Not for the first time, though, halftime was something of a hindrance rather than a help for the Vodafone Junior Warriors.

For whatever reason they weren't on song as the second spell began, the Roosters taking full advantage with two tries in a matter of minutes to suddenly bolt to an 18-10 lead.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors managed to check the Roosters' momentum and then hit back with a wonderful finish down the right-hand touchline by try-scoring expert Lewis Soosemea, who nailed his seventh try of the season, his third in two weeks. Kane Telea's conversion was superb and the Roosters led just 18-16 with more than 20 minutes still to play.

Thereafter the Vodafone Junior Warriors didn't want for opportunities to regain the lead as they kept pressing for their first win of the season.

It didn't come, though, and in the final moments Lam nabbed his third try to hand the Vodafone Junior Warriors further disappointment. 

On the evidence of this display and others in recent weeks against the likes of Gold Coast, Parramatta and Canberra they're not far away from success.



Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland 

Vodafone Junior Warriors  16 (Eiden Ackland, Melino Fineanganofo, Lewis Soosemea tries; Kane Telea 2 conversions).

Sydney Roosters 24 (Lachlan Lam 3, Victor Radley tries; Sean O'Sullivan 4 conversions).

Halftime: 10-6 Vodafone Junior Warriors.

Vodafone Junior Warriors | Lee Turner; Lewis Soosemea, Melino Fineanganofo, Kane Telea, Edward Vaeau-Mulitalo; Chanel Harris-Tavita, Paul Turner; Kenese Kenese (c), Eiden Ackland, Jordan Pinnock; Isaiah Papali'i, Joe Vuna; Chris Sio (c). Interchange: Erin Clark, Soane Hufanga, Keanu Laumatia-Paki, Tayhler Paora.

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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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