Melino Fineanganofo. Junior Warriors v Junior Sharks, Round 21 of the 2017 NYC Holden Cup Rugby League season at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 28 July 2017. Copyright photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz

The Vodafone Junior Warriors were unable to secure a win against competition leader Cronulla in tonight's 21st-round NYC clash at Mount Smart Stadium tonight.

Although there were attacking opportunities for the home side but defence cost it allowing the Sharks to grab the momentum en route to winning 42-4.

Inside two minutes, the Sharks were over and stretched the lead to 10-0 minutes later.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors paid the price for a late offload which was knocked back and scooped up by Sharks fullback Luke Metcalf to score. Kyle Flanagan pushed his side to a 16-0 advantage with the conversion.

Centre Dean Kouka-Smith answered back for the Vodafone Junior Warriors, accelerating down the left edge to out his side on the board.

From there on it was all Cronulla, securing a further two tries by Blayke Brailey and Sione Katoa to lead 26-4.

The second half started in arm wrestle fashion, both sides building pressure and exchanging sets.

Soon after, though, Cronulla redisovered its scoring touch with tries to Issac Lumelume, Flanagan and Metcalf to bolt well clear. 

 

MATCH DETAILS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Junior Warriors 4 (Dean Kouka-Smith try).

Cronulla Sharks 42 (Luke Metcalf 2, Ryan King, Josh Tuilagi, Blayke Brailey, Sione Katoa, Isaac Lumelume, Kyle Flanagan tries; Kyle Flanagan 5 conversions).

Halftime: 22-6 Cowboys.

Vodafone Junior Warriors | Israel Ogden; Lee Turner, Melino Finenanganofo, Dean Kouka-Smith, Gibson Popoalii; Kane Telea, Chanel Harris-Tavita; Kenese Kenese (c), Eiden Ackland, Tayhler Paora; Kelepi Lui, Joe Vuna; Chris Sio (c). Interchange: Jerome Mamea, Lewis Sio, Tyler Slade, Troy Pulupaki.