It was a healthy bounce back to form today for the NZ Warriors, unearthing a new talent in Kevin Locke and ending a 3 game losing streak as they shutout Wests Tigers with a 14-0 victory in Auckland earlier today
Junior Kiwi star Locke wasn’t overawed by the rise to the top grade and managed to nab a try scoring double on debut, along with a successful conversion. The vibrancy from the young rookie was just what the doctor ordered for NZ who have been slightly stale in recent weeks.
For Wests, their usually dynamic attack couldn’t get going, with the slippery conditions probably making things even harder for the usually expansive side. A healthy local crowd of around 16,00in Auckland came to life as their team got going late in the first term and never looked back.
The Tigers were guilty of silly penalties and were not getting enough direction or thrust from Benji Marshall’s kicking game. The loss seriously denting the hopes of the Top 8 for the Wests side, they simply needed to win this one to stay in touch.
For the Warriors, McKinnon was at his dynamic best and the confidence of the rookie Kevin Locke was quite amazing.
NZ coach Ivan Cleary, was obviously happy to get out of the recent rut (The Warriors only winning 2 from their last 9), most impressive for the coach was the improvement in the Warriors defence. The home side making massive amends for last weeks horror outing against the Raiders. Keeping the Tigers, a noted try scoring team to zero points for the match was a massive achiement.