After picking up their first win of the season last week, the Vodafone Junior Warriors couldn’t repeat the feat as they went down 6-26 to the previously winless Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in today’s sixth-round Jersey Flegg Cup match at Mount Smart Stadium.
After conceding an early try to Manly fullback Tevita Funa, the home side hung in resolutely in demanding conditions.
Neither side could make an impression on the scoreboard as the contest settled into an end to end grind for a substantial period but twice in the closing stages of the first half the Vodafone Junior Warriors failed to shut the Sea Eagles down.
The visitors profited with tries to halfback Zaan Weatherall and centre Semisi Kioa to bank a telling 14-0 lead.
Despite drifting 14 points behind, the Vodafone Junior Warriors were unperturbed starting the second stanza assertively gaining good field position and creating some pressure. Eventually it paid off with left wing Elijah Sufia going over and Eiden Ackland supplying the conversion.
They were back in contention at 6-14 but too quickly undid the good work allowing Manly to snare its fourth try through Luke Metcalf and stretch to a 14-point lead again at 20-6.
Metcalf’s second try gave Manly a 20-point winning margin.
At Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Junior Warriors 6 (Elijah Sufia try; Eiden Ackland conversion).
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 26 (Luke Metcalf 2, Tevita Funa, Zaan Weatherall, Semisi Kioa tries; Luke Metcalf 2 conversions, Semisi Kioa conversion).
Halftime: 14-0 Sea Eagles.
Referee: Jake Sutherland.
Vodafone Junior Warriors | Paul Turner; Elijah Sufia, Tom Ale, Kayak Iro, Patrick Elia; Sam Nati, Eiden Ackland; Soane Hufanga (c), Lewis Sio, Preston Riki; Sione Tuipulotu, Havi Tupouniua; Tyler Slade (c). Interchange: Carlos Henry, Lotu Inisi, Wesley Veikoso, Brody Tamarua.