Rabbitohs and Raiders
The Warriors vs Rabbitohs was a huge game for both teams with top eight aspirations on the line once again. Our boys came off two good wins over the Titans and the Bulldogs and needed to improve again against a very dangerous Rabbitohs team.
Before the game we lost Lance Hohaia to injury and he was replaced by Pita Godinet who was making his long awaited debut.
The boys started great and controlled the ball and field position and scoring 20 plus unanswered points. The worry was how we would go once the Rabbitohs were able to hold onto the footy and get a bit of possession.
In the blink of an eye the Rabbits scored a few quick tries to make the start of the second half vital.
Things went back and forth until again we were able to make the most of some errors and accurate passes and kicks.
Running out big winners, the Warriors showed composure and again defended well against a dangerous side that can be very unpredictable.
It was great to see Big Manu score some tries and get some of the media off his back as well as the great form of Joel Moon, and our big boys once again laid the platform.
Simon Mannering again played great, as well as some great touches from Jimmy Maloney, along with the intercept by Shauny J.
After the Raiders' big win against the Premiers on Monday night it was building to be the biggest test for the Warriors in the last month.
A beautiful Auckland day made for some opportunities to let the ball sing and watch some skill and speed shine.
The Warriors got out the blocks quick, but were unable to convert the tries. Then momentum changed and the Raiders scored twice which was against the run of play.
Confusingly the Warriors went into the sheds at half time down by 2 points. We were the dominant team in the first half half but somehow the scoreboard didn't reflect that.
Second half and the boys caused the Raiders to make errors and made them pay.
The second half performance allowed the team to add win number four in a row and finish a great day for both the senior and junior sides on a nice sunny Sunday.
There were some great performances from Billy Tupou, who somehow got himself out of the in goal on many occasions and his dummy half running was first class.
Kevin Locke was also a danger all day and except for the miss on the bomb, where the Raiders' centre Croker caught it and scored, it was a perfect afternoon.
Simon Mannering came up with bone crunching tackles as well as some great runs. Some terrific vision from James Maloney and accurate kicks contributed to 2 or 3 of our tries and had the Raiders edge defenders in all sorts of trouble.
The other player I have to mention not just for this weeks performance but for a number of weeks is Feleti Mateo.
His skill, agility and footwork is amazing and our boys are starting to work out there are many opportunities around him and this will only get better the more we do it. He is very dangerous on an edge particularly when he has support.
This week is a huge test traveling to Brisbane to take on the Broncos who bounced back to winning form against the Sharks.
This will be a great measure of how our current form is and help really cement a spot in the top eight.
Be Good Pricey
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