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Heavy losses for NZ Warriors futures sides

NZ Warriors NSW Cup rugby league
The NZ Warriors suffered their first loss in five weeks against the Bulldogs. PHOTO: NSW CUP

Canterbury Bankstown abruptly ended the NZ Warriors’ run of form with a powerful 46-16 victory in Saturday’s Round 18 New South Wales Cup clash at Accor Stadium in Sydney.

The Warriors came into the contest with eight victories and a draw in their last 10 outings – and four straight most recently.


After beating the second-placed Canberra last week, they had a chance to back it up against the fourth-placed Bulldogs but struggled to stay in the contest on a day when they were handicapped by poor ball control and discipline.

There was concern when Canterbury Bankstown blew out of the blocks with two tries in the opening 10 minutes to take a 10-0 lead.

Just as quickly the Warriors responded with two well-taken tries to hooker Makaia Tafua and wing Edward Kosi to be level at 10-10 after 23 minutes.

They could not settle, though, and build pressure against a hungry home side as the Bulldogs struck with two more tries to take a 22-10 lead into halftime.

Three more tries – all converted – had the Bulldogs out to a 40-10 lead with the Warriors unable to stop their momentum.

They regrouped momentarily with a Moala Graham-Taufa try but the Bulldogs completed the scoring with their eighth try, the victory enabling them to leapfrog the Warriors into third place on the ladder.

Second-placed Canterbury Bankstown promised to give the Warriors another testing time and did just that with a 30-6 win on Sunday’s Round 18 Jersey Flegg Cup (under-21) contest at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney.

Not for the first time, the Warriors had to make lineup modifications, the most significant losing the originally-named Motu Pasikala to the club's New South Wales Cup side.

That provided an opening for another debut with 18-year-old Ezekiel Tavita brought in on the wing.

While the team did not find much joy, it was day for Tavita to savour. A Marist Saints and Pt Chevalier Pirates junior, he also played rugby union for the Kelston Boys’ High School.

He had the satisfaction of scoring on debut, his 27th minute try keeping the Warriors in the contest at 10-6 down and then just 14-6 at halftime.

However, the Bulldogs scored three more tries in the second half and kept the Warriors scoreless to wrap up two points and leave the visitors with a fourth consecutive defeat.   


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