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Jersey Flegg Match Report: Tough fight in Fiji

Form suggested the Silktails would have another difficult day out but they made the One New Zealand Warriors fight all the way for a 16-10 win in Saturday’s 14th-round Jersey Flegg Cup clash at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

In the historic first match played by a Warriors side in Fiji, the under-21s had to come from behind and then hold on grimly for a third consecutive win.

The Silktails had dropped each of the 11 matches they’d played in their debut season and conceded more than 50 points in each of their last three games.

They looked a totally different side back in their own environment.

With the game kicking off at 12.00pm with the temperature hitting 28 and humidity at more than 70 per cent, the Warriors had the conditions to contend with as well.

That didn’t seem to affect them early as they settled into their work to engineer a try for captain and prop Harry Durbin, centre Siale Faeamani converting for a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes.

There it stayed until halftime but the complexion of the contest changed dramatically in the opening six minutes of the second half as the Silktails struck twice to go ahead 10-6.

The locals weren’t able to protect their advantage for long, though, as the Warriors rebounded with two tries in a matter of four minutes.

First winger Garry Tuilekutu added to his try-scoring tally in the 48th minute with fullback Tallan Egan – making his Jersey Flegg debut – converting to put the Warriors in front 12-10.

And in the 52nd minute the Warriors worked a try for right winger Raphael Sio, his fourth in as many games, to open up a six-point lead.

It made for an anxious final 17 minutes but the Warriors negotiated the challenging passage to secure their fifth win of the season.

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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