Warriors win as the Dragons streak is Demolished

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The New Zealand Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons had the tag of the match of the round to live up to as we saw Friday Night Football coming out of Auckland. The Warriors would be looking to bounce back after the home loss against the Broncos last week, while the Dragons were looking to make it seven on the trot.

The Dragons would stay unchanged, while the Warriors were hit with news that Shaun Johnson would be out of the team with an undisclosed injury. Mason Lino would come into the side in a straight swap, while Anthony Gelling would come in for Solomone Kata in the expected change. Isaiah Papali'i would come onto the bench for his first game since a knee injury took him out in round two.

The two blokes who came into the starting squad for the Warriors would be the points for the first half. Mason Lino took advantage of a few quick passes to dart through the Dragons defense and make it 4-0 with just over 4 minutes gone in the game. He would miss his conversion attempt, shaving the posts.

The Dragons nearly hit back, with plenty of attacking opportunities throughout the half. Euan Aitken nearly got over, offloading back into the field to earn a repeat set for the Dragons. Gareth Widdop would nearly go over, with a lovely offload from Tim Lafai finding his half. It would take some great defense from the Warriors to hold them out. Tohu Harris would suffer a head injury making a tackle, which saw his night out.

The Warriors would then pepper the Dragons line, earning a few repeat sets. Anthony Gelling would get his first NRL try, with a lovely ball from Blake Green sending the former Super League centre going through the line to score. Mason Lino would convert to make it 10-0, but that would not be all. With penalties the order of the day, the Warriors had that penalty warning given. Blake Green would be sent off with a minute left, leaving the Warriors with 12 men at halftime.

The Dragons would be able to take advantage to start the second half, with Ben Hunt slicing through the Warriors defense as Blake Green was about to come on to put the Dragons on the board. Gareth Widdop would convert to make it 10-6 with 30 minutes to go.

Tim Lafai nearly had an intercept try to put the Dragons in the lead but James Graham got a deft touch which knocked it on into Roger Tuivasa Sheck. Just a few sets later, Isaac Luke would come up with a 40/20 the man called Bully would burrow his way over to make it 16-6 for the Warriors with just 13 minutes left.

Tariq Sims would be the next man to do some burrowing, crashing over from short to bring the Dragons back within 4 points with 7 minutes left, but in the end the Warriors would get over through Isaiah Papali'i to seal a 20-12 win.

The Dragons lose their winning streak, as the Warriors join them at 6-1. The Dragons come up against the Roosters next week, while the Warriors will be against a rampaging Storm.



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