The One New Zealand Warriors’ New South Wales Cup side rediscovered winning form by holding out South Sydney 21-18 at a rain-sodden Go Media Stadium in Auckland on Friday night.
The victory in the 18th-round match was only the second in the club’s last eight matches since they beat the Sydney Roosters on April 30.
It lifted the Warriors to 21 points and back into the top four and still ranked top for most points scored (449, 26.41 a game) and fifth equal for the fewest points conceded (336, 19.76 a game).
The home side was on the board as early as the sixth minute with a Setu Tu try and was out to a 14-0 lead by the 21st minute through tries to centre Viliami Vailea and loose forward Kalani Going.
The Rabbitohs responded with two converted tries before halfback Ronald Volkman rounded off the half with a field goal for a 15-12 lead at the break.
When interchange forward Solomon Vasuvulagi scored seven minutes into the second half the One New Zealand Warriors had a handy 21-12 advantage but couldn’t build on it.
It kept the Rabbitohs in the contest but the Warriors resisted until the 78th minute when the visitors scored their third try to bring the final margin down to three points.
Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland
One New Zealand Warriors 21 (Setu Tu, Viliami Vailea, Kalani Going, Solomon Vasuvulagi tries; Ronald Volkman 2 conversions, field goal).
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 (Ben Lovett, Brock Gray, Tallis Duncan tries; Dean Hawkins 3 conversions).
Halftime: 15-12 One New Zealand Warriors.
One New Zealand Warriors | Taine Tuauapiki; Setu Tu, Viliami Vailea, Brayden Wiliame, Edward Kosi; Ben Farr, Ronald Volkman; Zyon Maiu’u, Michael Sio (c), James Gavet; Jacob Laban, Leka Halasima; Kalani Going (c). Interchange: Moala Graham-Taufa, Solomon Vasuvulagi, Isaiah Vagana, Eiden Ackland.