An Intrust Super Premiership top two finish is in reach for the Vodafone Warriors after they revived their campaign with a tense 32-22 win over the Mounties at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday.
It pushed them up to 29 points with just four rounds to go in the regular season.
They also reclaimed second spot with front-running Wyong leaving Penrith on 27 points after its 24-22 success on Saturday.
In the run to the finals, the Vodafone Warriors have their third and final bye this weekend – which will take them to 31 points – followed by clashes against Wentworthville (home), Wyong (away) and Wests Tigers (home) to round out the regular season.
Saturday’s win over the Mounties was also a timely boost after a testing past two months.
After starting the season superbly, the Vodafone Warriors have won just two games since beating North Sydney 18-10 on May 27 yet still sit high up the ladder.
After that result, there was an 18-18 draw with Newcastle, a 12-30 loss to Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, a bye, a 19-22 reverse against Penrith, a 20-22 loss to the Bulldogs, another bye, a 28-14 win over Illawarra and heavy 12-38 setback against Newtown.
The win against the Mounties at the weekend was an edgy affair with scores locked at 22-22 before Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Isaiah Papali’i scored late tries to close it out for the home side.
Wings Junior Pauga and Bureta Faraimo, who both scored from long range, finished with 189 metres and 180 metres each while Nicoll-Klokstad, switched to fullback, made 138 metres. Prop Daniel Palavi (117) was the only one of the forwards to top 100 metres.