A rearranged One New Zealand Warriors side fell to a disappointing 18-26 loss in their top four New South Wales Cup encounter with Newtown at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart today.
When winger Sanele Aukusitino scored two minutes into the second half for a 12-10 lead, the home side was in a sound position to go on with the job.
However, a 14-minute period in the middle stages of the spell would prove damaging as the Jets scored three tries to stretch out to a 26-12 advantage.
There was still enough time on the clock – 14 minutes – and when hot prospect Leka Halasima soared expertly to snatch a Ronald Volkman bomb to the left in the 70th minute, visions of a late comeback were realistic.
The follow-up strike never came, though, leaving the One New Zealand Warriors short in their bid for a third straight win.
Earlier Setu Tu and Patrick Moimoi scored well-taken tries to keep the Warriors in the hunt in an error-ridden first half when they also had to contend with a crippling penalty count.
The Jets had scored in the second minute through fullback Daniel Atkinson before Tu went over wide out for the Warriors five minutes later.
Caleb Uele’s 16th-minute try gave the Jets a 10-4 lead before Moimoi’s effort left the sides separated by just two points at halftime.
Go Media Stadium Mt Smart, Auckland
One New Zealand Warriors 18 (Setu Tu, Patrick Moimoi, Sanele Aukusitino, Leka Halasima tries; .
Newtown Jets 26 (Daniel Atkinson, Caleb Uele, Samuel Healey, Kyle Pickering, Tom Rodwell tries; Mawene Hiroti 3 conversions).
Halftime: 10-8 Jets.
One New Zealand Warriors | Taine Tuauapiki; Setu Tu, Moala Graham-Taufa, Patrick Moimoi, Sanele Aukusitino; Ben Farr, Ronald Volkman; Zyon Maiu’u, Michael Sio (c), Tanner Stowers-Smith; Jacob Laban, Leka Halasima; Maia Sands. Interchange: Isaiah Vagana, Eiden Ackland, Eddie Ieremia, Matthew Whyte.