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Match Report: Historic Harold Matthews win

Loose forward Lennox Tuiloma’s sensational final play individual try carried the One New Zealand Warriors to an historic first win in the Harold Matthews Cup under-17 competition when they beat South Sydney 22-17 in a thriller at Redfern Oval today.

Entering the renowned pathways championship for the first time this season, the Warriors were facing a third straight defeat after Tamoko Berryman-Duff slotted a field goal to give the Rabbitohs a 17-16 lead with three minutes to play.

But critically, with time all but up, South Sydney conceded a seven-tackle set giving the visiting side one last shot.

The Warriors surged downfield working themselves in range for a possible match-levelling field goal.

It didn’t come down to that. Hooker and co-captain Kaawyn Patterson served it up to Tuiloma on the 20-metre mark, the big man exploding on an angled run through the defensive line and then taking two defenders over the line with him to snare victory.

It was the side’s third consecutive match on the road after earlier losses to Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters.

Earlier they had opened the scoring through winger Ezekiel Davidson-Faaiuaso but then conceded three tries to fall being 4-16 at the break, the last two coming when the Warriors had Militoni Sikuvea in the sin bin.

The comeback started eight minutes into the second half when Patterson stepped through with Joseph Ratcliffe converting to have the margin down to six points at 10-16.

Then 12 minutes later match-winning hero Tuiloma stepped up when he used his power to smash through for his first try, Ratcliffe’s conversion locking it up 16-16 with 12 minutes to play.

The Rabbitohs edged ahead with Berryman-Duff’s field goal but the Warriors responded with a magical finish.

They’re at home at last next week when they host the Balmain Tigers at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe (10.00am kick-off).

Match details
Redfern Oval, Sydney

South Sydney Rabbitohs 17 (Dayne Jennings, Taj Aufai-Farani, Lisiate Mackay-Filihia tries; Tamoko Berryman-Duff 2 conversions, field goal).
One New Zealand Warriors 22 (Lennox Tuiloma 2, Ezekiel Davidson-Faaiuaso, Kaawyn Patterson tries; Joseph Ratcliffe 4 conversions).
Halftime: 16-4 Rabbitohs.
One New Zealand Warriors: Joseph Ratcliffe; Ezekiel Davidson-Faaiuaso, Siale Pahulu, Jeremiah Lemana, Torbein Beauvais; Boston Krone (co-captain), Ashton Ulaula-Ieremia; Houma Fotu, Kaawyn Patterson (co-captain), Hudsyn Frost; Dezman Laban, Militoni Sikuvea; Lennox Tuiloma. Interchange: Zion Sitani, Romana Whitiora, Gordon Afoa, Timau Utiaro.  Coach | TJ Ashford.

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.

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