Warriors and Knights draw in scrappy NRL contest

This match was all about raising funds for those who were affected by the tragic mine tragedy in Greymouth, New Zealand last year, and that is exactly what they did.

The ‘Solidarity Cup’ was shared amongst the two teams, as both did their part for the community, and put on a show that was sure to please the locals and get them pumped up about the NRL once more.

The Warriors seemed certainties to win the contest, before a late try  to rookie Knights outside back Simon Williams forced a draw between the two sides.

The Knights could have come away with the victory, but goal-kicker Peter Mata’utia missed the conversion, and thus a draw was the final result.

The star attraction in this game however was Chris Houston and his first professional game since he resigned from the Knights following ongoing drug investigations.

Houston was subsequently cleared, and he was welcomed back with open arms to the Knights outfit, who are more than pleased to have him back in their books.

Houston, who is also touted as a future Origin player in the second-row, showed his rustiness, with a mixed night on the field, but he did get some confidence back and bravado, when he crossed the line for a try after a barging run through several Warriors defenders.

Knights coach Rick Stone says that Houston will be better in the long-run, and he was pleased with his sides effort to draw the game after trailing 22-6 with 20 minutes to go.

“Chris was good. He came up with a couple of errors but overall he played about 50 minutes, he was strong, scored a try, defended pretty well and carried the ball pretty well I thought,” Stone told AAP.

“We had a chance to square it up but probably 22-22 was a fair result considering what we’re over here for.”

Shannon McDonnell also impressed Stone, and it raises an interesting dilemma in the fullback position, with rumours Gidley may start in the halves at five-eighth.

Young gun Peter Mata’utia also impressed Stone with his performance, and he will definitely be one to watch as he pushes for a surprise starting spot come Round 1.

For the Warriors, their utility Joel Moon was one of the stand-outs, and he had a hand in the try of the game with a long-distance effort finishing in the hands of gun winger Bill Tupou.

Moon was again involved when he made a run down the right-hand side, before offloading the ball to Glen Fisiiah, who scored two tries.

Mateo also looked good in patches, despite appearing to be around the same build as he was for the Eels in 2010, which caused some talk amongst Eels fans as to whether or not Mateo was passionate about the training side of things.

“He’s worked pretty hard. He certainly showed a few glimpses of what he can do,” he said.

“There was a bit of good, a bit of bad. We let the game slip there at the end. I think we got through without any injuries.”

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