The NZ Warriors have put in a strong showing at home to defeat the Bulldogs to the tune of 36-16 in NRL Round 5 2008.
Getting off to the best possible start, the Warriors scoring early and looking like they could chalk up a big win and eventually that’s what happened. Their early possession was a pleasure to watch – they attack was sublime as they set their line deep and put the ball through plenty of hands, the home side getting two tries within 10 minutes to Manu Vatuvei and Patrick Ah Van – with the scoreboard attendant kept real busy.
On the back of possession, the Warriors really had the Bulldogs struggling. Sonny Bill Williams making things harder for his team with two poor offloads early on that kept his team on the back foot. Brent Tate was at his attacking best for the NZ Warriors, getting a tryn
As they so often do, the Bulldogs counter attacked and were surprisingly back in the game as they registered points to trail 10-6 midway through the half. With an ounce of confidence and some more ball, the Dogs were back into the game and forcing a bit of an arm wrestle.
The Bulldogs were well and truly back just before half time, Ben Roberts scoring a try to get his side ahead 12-10. As scrappy as they were, the Bulldogs were doing enough to keep in the game and as the possession evened out – it gave them a real shot.
But with the ball in hand, it was the Warriors who looked much sharper in attack. Even without Steve Price and Wade McKinnon, the NZ Warriors are still looking the goods – imagine what they will perform like when the stars are back on deck.
The second half panned out well for the home side, Manu Vatuvei might look horrible when catching a ball in defence – but the winger with teeth like Mr-T does look dangerous when he attacks. Everytime he got an inch of space, he was dangerous – running hard at the line and giving his team great thrust.
The Warriors through sustained pressure, got tries to experienced Ruben Wiki after a poor Sonny Bill shoulder charge attempt from 2m out from his line – big Wiki reaching out to score. And the Warriors running in late tries to put it beyond doubt.