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Comeback wins are becoming a speciality for the One New Zealand Warriors in the Jersey Flegg Cup and they produced another thriller in beating the high-flying Roosters 20-16 in Sunday’s 13th-round clash in Sydney.

Backing up their exhilarating 28-24 victory over Melbourne a week earlier, the Warriors have now delivered four wins and a draw in their last seven outings in the under-21 competition.

Against the Storm they recovered from a 6-20 halftime deficit before an irresistible run of 22 points in 18 minutes propelled them to their four-point success.

The circumstances were markedly different on Sunday.

The Warriors were hot from the outset with tries to second rower Alvin Chong Nee and prop Rodney Tuipulotu Vea firing them to a 12-0 lead inside 16 minutes, an advantage they protected until the halftime break.

The script went awry in the second spell, though, as the Warriors allowed the Roosters to seize the momentum by scoring four tries in succession – all unconverted – to take a 16-12 lead with just nine minutes to go.

There was still time, though, and the Warriors found a way once again.

With four minutes to go they shifted the ball wide to the right, centre Siale Faeamani with a terrific catch and pass effort under pressure to give winger Raphael Sio an opening from 10 metres out. He had defenders around him but powered across superbly to level the scores at 16-16.

All the heat was on Maui Winitana-Patelesio as he lined up the conversion but the 19-year-old St Patrick's College Silverstream product was unfazed, nailing it to give the Warriors an 18-16 lead.

In the dying moments fullback William Piliu added his second penalty of the day for a pulsating 20-16 win.

No question goal kicking was everything, the Warriors slotting four goals from five attempts while the Roosters failed with every shot at goal.

It was another performance founded on grit and resilience, the Warriors dominating possession on a day when they made just eight errors and missed only 12 tackles.

With four wins and a draw, they’re now on 11 points and up to 11th on the table.

They’re away again next weekend, flying to Fiji where they take on the Silvertails in Lautoka on Saturday.

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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