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Winning chance slips in SG Ball opener

The One New Zealand Warriors had the whiff of a shock win before being edged by Parramatta in their opening-round clash in the SG Ball Cup (under-19) competition in Sydney today.

The defending premiers had to come from behind to win 32-20 after the Grant Pocklington-coached Warriors had been impressive for much of the contest.

The Eels were strongly fancied but the visitors cared little for such a notion.

While the Warriors conceded an early try and then a penalty they rebounded with two touchdowns within the space of five minutes through winger Sio Kali (24th minute) and fullback Motu Pasikala (29th minute) to take a well-earned 10-8 lead into the halftime break.

That margin was extended to 16-8 early in the second spell through a converted try to Jeriko Filipi-Talisau before the Eels trimmed it back to 16-14 four minutes later.

Again the One New Zealand Warriors responded, though, with centre Hiraka Waitai-Haenga crossing to give his team a 20-14 advantage after 50 minutes.

However, they couldn’t hold the Eels as the home side levelled up at 20-20 and then added two late tries to win by 12 points.

The Warriors host the North Sydney Bears in the second round at Pukekohe’s Navigation Homes Stadium next Sunday.


Match details:

Eric Tweedale Stadium, Sydney

Parramatta Eels 32 (Mohamed Alameddine 2, Lorenzo Talataina, Sebastian Piukala, Dominic Farrugia tries; Dominic Farrugia 5 conversions, penalty).

One New Zealand Warriors 20 (Sio Kali, Motu Pasikala, Jeriko Filipi-Talisau, Hiraka Waitai-Haenga tries; Maui Winitana-Patelesio 2 conversions).

Halftime: 10-8 One New Zealand Warriors.

One New Zealand Warriors: Motu Pasikala; Malakai Cama, Nganatatafu Vake, Hiraka Waitai-Haenga, Sio Kali; Jesse Soric, Maui Winitana-Patelesio; Rodney Tuipulotu Vea, Jaydee Auloa (co-captain), Jason Salalilo; Kayliss Fatialofa (co-captain), Alvin Chong Nee; Junior Sikuvea. Interchange: Lyrakai-Layke Posimani, Jeriko Filipi-Talisau, Malachi Filipo, Francis Tuimauga. Coach | Grant Pocklington

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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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