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SG Ball Match Report: Remarkable draw

Cronulla Sutherland’s astonishing second half comeback denied the One New Zealand Warriors a vital victory in their penultimate regular season match in the SG Ball Cup (under-19) competition at Pukekohe’s Navigation Homes Stadium on Sunday.

The home side conceded the first try of the match in the opening minute but then rattled off five straight tries in an outstanding first half effort to lead the Sharks 26-6 in the must-win contest.


Remarkably, though, Cronulla Sutherland found a way back into the battle from a seemingly futile position by scoring five unanswered tries to lead 30-26 only for the One New Zealand Warriors to level up with a late Augustino Filipo try. It came down to the conversion from wide out on the left but Tallan Egan was just wide.

With one point from the draw, the One New Zealand Warriors moved to seven points on the ladder but they needed to win – and do so again in next weekend’s ninth round – to have the faintest hope of reaching the top six playoffs.

They were well on track to complete the first part of the equation when they scored five first half tries including a double to standoff Egan.

Coming off back-to-back losses, the Warriors were showing their best form against a side ranked ahead of them on the ladder but they couldn’t prevent Cronulla Sutherland’s withering recovery.

Ultimately goal kicking was a key factor. Both sides scored six tries but managed to convert just three each.

The Warriors are back in Pukekohe next Sunday to finish their campaign against St George Illawarra.

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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