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Just minutes after gaining the lead, the One New Zealand Warriors conceded two late tries enabling the Sea Eagles to steal a 24-18 win in today’s sixth-round New South Wales Cup contest at Go Media Stadium.

The home side had been behind for much of the match after going to halftime trailing 14-16.

The score was still the same with 12 minutes to go as both sides slogged it out in a classic arm wrestle.

Then, in the 68th minute, promising second rower Leka Halasima produced some magic in his first outing of the season, powering through the Sea Eagles’ defensive line to propel his side into an 18-16 lead.

However, when they needed to close the game out by completing their sets, they turned the ball over 40 metres out four minutes later.

The Sea Eagles seized on the opportunity in the resulting set, working the ball to their right where they caught the home side’s defence out for winger Watson Heleta to put his side back in front 20-18.

There was still time for the One New Zealand Warriors. They pressed for a second go-ahead try but were denied before the Sea Eagles scored again to seal their six-point victory.

Earlier the home side made a bright beginning – as they did against South Sydney last week – by creating a try for right winger Setu Tu in the fifth minute.

Then in a repeat of the match against the Rabbitohs, they failed to build on the start as the Sea Eagles scored three times in the space of 10 minutes to leap to a 16-4 advantage.

The Warriors, though, had a liking for the Sea Eagles’ left edge and found joy there twice in a matter of minutes for fullback Taine Tuaupiki and centre Ali Leiataua to score to trim the halftime margin to 14-16.

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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