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Harold Matthews Match Report: Big setback

The One New Zealand Warriors' hopes of playing finals football in their debut season in the Harold Matthews Cup (under-17) competition suffered a major blow when they fell to a 10-40 loss to Cronulla Sutherland in their key eighth-round clash at Pukekohe’s Navigation Homes Stadium on Sunday.

Going into the match, the Warriors were inside the top six level on 10 points with the Sharks and needing to win their last two matches to seal a spot in the playoffs.

However, Cronulla Sutherland was in no mood for charity scoring three converted tries in quick order to leap to an 18-0 lead before the Warriors responded with a Jeremiah Lemana try to cut the margin to 4-18.

It didn’t last long with the Sharks striking again to extend to 24-4 at halftime, 30-4 straight after the break and then 34-4 a short time later.

The only respite for the home side was provided by an Isaiah Savea try before the Sharks ended the contest with their seventh try.

The result lifted them to 12 points (fifth spot on the ladder) while the Warriors slipped to seventh with the Sea Eagles moving up to 10 points and claiming sixth place on points for and against with a 30-4 win over Balmain.

The Warriors must beat lowly-ranked St George Illawarra in their final match next week and do so by a big margin while the Sea Eagles would need to lose to the mid-table Central Coast Roosters or win by a modest margin.

As it stands now the Sea Eagles have a points for against differential of plus 12 points while the Warriors have gone out to minus 25 on the back of the 30-point loss to Cronulla Sutherland.   

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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