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Fullback Taine Tuaupiki has proved a goal kicking saviour for the One New Zealand Warriors’ New South Wales Cup side for the second week running.

Last week his high-pressure conversion after the siren sealed a dramatic 26-24 win over the St George Illawarra.

And on Saturday he was the man of the moment again in the home side’s eighth-round clash against the unbeaten Penrith Panthers at North Harbour Stadium in Albany.

The Warriors had been leading for more than 70 minutes of the contest only for Penrith to snatch a converted try to go 22-20 ahead with eight minutes to play.

It stayed that way until the dying stages when the home side received a penalty and opted to take the two points on offer, Tuaupiki obliging to seal a 22-22 draw and stop the Panthers securing a seventh straight win.

Tuaupiki’s goal kicking was the difference for the Warriors yet again.

In the win over the Dragons he converted all four of the Warriors tries and added a penalty while St George Illawarra converted only two of their five tries.

Tuaupiki converted all three of his side’s tries and kicked two penalties against the Panthers but the visitors converted only three of their four tries.

The Warriors made a hot start to the contest with promoted Jersey Flegg Cup halfback - and ex-Panthers junior - Luke Hanson scoring in the first minute before Penrith hit back 10 minutes later.

Warriors hooker Makaia Tafua went over in the 16th minute and interchange forward Kayliss Fatialofa followed in the 21st minute to extend the Warriors’ advantage to 18-4.

Penrith added a second try through fullback Isaiah Iongi before Tuaupiki slotted a penalty just before halftime to have the Warriors 20-10 ahead at the break.

It wasn’t until the last 20 minutes that Penrith was able to break down the resilient Warriors as they scored through Trent Toelau and Jesse McLean to take a 22-20 lead and threaten to deny the young One New Zealand Warriors side any reward – until Tuaupiki rescued a point.


That lifted the Warriors to ninth on the ladder with seven points.

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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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