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A 26-20 win over the Sydney Roosters has stretched the One New Zealand Warriors’ unbeaten streak to four matches and moved them up to sixth place on the New South Wales Cup points table.

Heading into Sunday’s contest at North Harbour Stadium, the Warriors had beaten St George Illawarra, drawn with Penrith and edged Newcastle in the past three weeks to turn their season around after indifferent results early on.

They had a battle initially to maintain their momentum against a Roosters side sitting behind them in the standings.

The visitors opened with a second minute try to loose forward Zach Dockar-Clay followed 12 minutes later by a Warriors touchdown through winger Marcelo Montoya before the Roosters scored twice to take a 14-4 lead into the halftime break.

From there the One New Zealand Warriors turned the contest on its head with a withering onslaught in the third quarter which saw them score four tries in 21 minutes to convert a 10-point deficit into a 26-14 lead.

It started with SG Ball Cup players Makaia Tafua and Kayliss Fatialofa scoring inside the first five minutes of the second half, Ben Farr converting both to put his side 16-14 ahead.

A 55th-minute try to second rower Eddie Ieremia extended the advantage to 20-14 before a fifth try to prop Tanner Stowers Smith, converted by Farr, gave the Warriors a 26-14 lead with 19 minutes to play.

The Roosters trimmed the margin to six points 13 minutes from time but the Warriors successfully negotiated the final stages to emerge with their fifth win of the season which, together with their draw against Penrith, lifted them to 11 points.

They were without two of their regular players with winger Edward Kosi called into the NRL team while fullback Taine Tuaupiki was the 18th man in Sydney.

Kosi was replaced by experienced first grader Montoya and Geronimo Doyle was moved to fullback while there were two other changes to the lineup originally named with centre Ali Lauitiiti and halfback Paul Roache both returning from injury.

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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