You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Wests Tigers edge past 12-man Warriors

The Wests Tigers started the year on a winning note on Sunday afternoon, but it's likely the Warriors left Christchurch the happier of the two sides after toughing it out with 12 men for an hour of the 18-16 loss. 

Warriors forward Zyon Maiu'u was sent off on 20 minutes for a shoulder charge which ended Declan Casey's game and saw proceedings stopped for several minutes while he received medical attention, after he appeared to have been knocked out. 

Leading 12-6 at that stage – after early tries from Alex Seyfarth and Aidan Sezer were scored in between Jacob Laban's four-pointer for the hosts – the Wests Tigers struggled to rediscover their mojo and took 38 minutes to cross again. 

Aidan Sezer Try

While the overall performance may have been underwhelming, rookie coach Benji Marshall will likely be pleased by what he saw from off-season recruits Sezer and Jayden Sullivan in the halves, with the pair kicking the side around the park well and having some nice moments on the ball. 

On the other side of the field the Warriors will take plenty from the defensive grit shown beyond the send off, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's first rugby league game in 31 months was a resounding success.

Zyon Maiu'u sent off

In a 58-minute stint RTS made several good defensive reads out wide, saved two likely tries with last-ditch tackles and in possession was typically effective, averaging a touch under 10 metres per carry across 13 runs.  

After Sione Latoa-Vaihu scored his side's third with 22 minutes to go the Wests Tigers looked like they'd go on with the job, but that thought was quickly dashed by tries in quick succession to Paul Roache and Setu Tu. 

Setu Tu Try

A missed conversion on Tu's try left the Wests Tigers with a 18-16 lead and from there they did enough to hold on for victory in front of a crowd of 13,760 at Apollo Projects Stadium. 

Match Snapshot

  • The Wests Tigers finished with a narrow possession advantage but completed at only 72 percent compared to the Warriors who completed at 84 percent.
  • Zyon Maiu'u was sent off for a shoulder charge that ended Declan Casey's on 20 minutes, with the centre leaving the field on a medicab after appearing to be knocked out. 
  • Wests Tigers forward Samuela Fainu was placed on report for a dangerous tackle in the final minute of the first half and then sent to the sin bin for making contact to the head with his shoulder early in the second. 
  • Roger Tuivasa-Sheck played 58 minutes in his Warriors return and had 126 run metres to his name. 
  • Sione Fainu led the way with ball in hand for the Wests Tigers, chewing through 149 metres from 11 carries. 

Play of the Game

Everyone was waiting to see what Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had in his rugby league return, and he didn't disappoint. This monster hit received a huge cheer from the Christchurch crowd and was part of a solid stint for the former Warriors captain. 

RTS 'buries him'

What's Next

The Warriors remain on New Zealand soil for a match against the Dolphins in Auckland on Saturday, which will likely see most of their frontline players take the field. The Wests Tigers take on the Dragons in Mudgee, with several positions of contention set to be decided following that clash. 

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.

Principal Partner

Major Partners

Official Sponsors

View All Partners