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Green's long-awaited field goal an instant winner

Blake Green has played more than 150 Telstra Premiership games as a playmaker, but when it came time to step up and execute the game-winning field goal against the Cronulla Sharks on Friday night the Warriors veteran found himself in unfamiliar territory.

Remarkably the field goal which handed the Warriors a 19-18 win was the first Green has kicked, and one of just a handful he has attempted since his first-grade debut with Parramatta back in 2007.

While Green didn't even feature in last week's field-goal duel with Brisbane in golden point – halves partner Kodi Nikorima took all three Warriors attempts that night – the veteran No.7 said he made it clear this time around that he wanted to take the shot.

Making the decision easier was the fact Nikorima had picked up an ankle injury in the process of scoring a try, which saw him wearing a moon boot post-match in Wellington.

"As soon as we got that penalty goal [to tie the game] and there was about eight minutes to go, I just said to Kodi, 'listen, when we get down here again I'm going to pull the trigger on this one'," Green said.

"He goes, 'mate, knock it over'.

"Even if he didn't hurt his ankle we were going [to do that] anyway.

"Last week I didn't have a shot, Kodi was having a terrific night on the footy field and was full of confidence.

Green speed puts Warriors back in it

"[Previously] I played with Cooper Cronk, he's pretty good at kicking them, Daly Cherry-Evans is pretty good at kicking them, so I have never had to be the one to pull the trigger.

"It was nice to knock it over and get a win for the footy club."

Having gone to golden point twice in the past month for a loss and a draw, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said relief was the overwhelming emotion after the win, which came six days after the 18-18 stalemate with Brisbane.

"It is a relief ... we had a few of those over the last probably month and for the guys to navigate their way through that and get a result tonight was really pleasing," Kearney said.

"With 35-40 seconds to go we still managed to make it hard for ourselves but I was just really pleased for the guys. It's been a fairly disrupted week on the back of a quick turnaround."

The Warriors' seventh win of the year came after they trailed for the majority of the match at Westpac Stadium, with Cronulla taking the lead on eight minutes and holding it until Andrew Fifita was sent to the sin bin 12 minutes from time.

At that point the Warriors locked the game up via a penalty goal, before Green delivered the killer blow minutes later.

Nikorima sets up grandstand finish

The Auckland-based side were also without wingers Ken Maumalo (concussion) and David Fusitu'a (hamstring), with Kearney admitting it was a major disruption late in the week.

Blake Ayshford came in to fill one spot on the right and Adam Pompey made his NRL debut on the left wing.

"It wasn't an ideal start to our captain's run when we lost Ken, and then we lost David during the captain's run," Kearney said.

"Adam Pompey was called into the group, Blake Ayshford didn't even do captain's run, he went straight to the airport.

"So just the way the guys managed that, the spirit was really good and really high.

"I reckon [Fusitu'a] will probably be [out for] two weeks maybe."

Acknowledgement of Country

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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