After holding a 16-6 lead the One New Zealand Warriors conceded two unanswered tries in the second half to fall to a close 16-18 loss in their 17th-round New South Wales Cup clash against St George Illawarra at Go Media Stadium in Auckland today.
The Warriors had started well with tries to Eiden Ackland, Moala Graham-Taufa and Viliami Vailea helping them to a handy 16-6 halftime lead.
But the Dragons responded with two converted tries to take an 18-16 lead while the Warriors were unable to find their scoring power after their three-try salvo in the early stages of the contest.
In a repeat of their losses to Newtown last weekend and South Sydney on June 3, the young home side couldn’t find a way back en route to their seventh loss of the campaign.
The squad used today included four players from the club’s S G Ball Cup (under-19) team is second rower Jacob Laban plus Tanner Stowers-Smith, Etuate Fukofuka and Eddie Ieremia on the bench.
The Warriors are at home again next Friday night playing South Sydney in the curtain raiser to the NRL encounter between the One New Zealand Warriors and the Rabbitohs.
Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland
One New Zealand Warriors 16 (Eiden Ackland, Moala Graham-Taufa, Viliami Vailea tries; Ronald Volkman 2 conversions).
St George Illawarra Dragons 18 (Ryan Couchman, Zach Herring, Savelio Tamale tries; Alexander Lobb 3 conversions).
Halftime: 16-6 One New Zealand Warriors.
One New Zealand Warriors | Ben Farr; Sanele Aukusitino, Moala Graham-Taufa, Viliami Vailea, Edward Kosi; Eiden Ackland, Ronald Volkman; Zyon Maiu’u, Maia Sands, Solomon Vasuvulagi; Jacob Laban, Kalani Going (c); Michael Sio (c). Interchange: Isaiah Vagana, Tanner Stowers-Smith, Etuate Fukofuka, Eddie Ieremia.