They were regarded as an NRL force, and after some indifferent performances in the past, the New Zealand Warriors are showing their steely resolve, after winning away from home at Ausgrid Stadium over the Newcastle Knights.
With a 25-16 win over the Knights, the win gives the Warriors a world of confidence for future games in Australia, after winning away from home as been their achilles heel for quite some time.
It all started due to coach Ivan Cleary’s well-mapped out plan, as he decided to head to the Gold Coast, their opponents last week first, before travelling to Newcastle.
The reduced travel for the team, and the extra preparation is what really helped them to compete, and ultimately win, games in Australia.
“It was a pretty tough schedule so we decided to stay and just take a couple of flights out,” Cleary said.
“Having said that it was still a pretty big week for us – four guys backing up for two games last weekend as well (the New Zealand Test and Titans match). To get out of that with a win is very satisfying.”
Despite being behind on the scoreboard for most of the game, Cleary was pleased with his sides effort to come back the way they did, Â a comeback inspired by energy off the ball.
“The best part, apart from the win, was that we didn’t concede a point in the second half,” he said, after his side had trailed 16-12 at the break.
“Whilst we didn’t play great we did enough to hang in there and win.”
For the Knights, they had several chances to put the game out of the reach of the Warriors, and ultimately, they ended up ruing those mistakes, as it cost them the game.
“With 15 minutes to go the game was in the balance,” a dejected Knights coach Rick Stone said.
“I think a few concentration lapses, that mental toughness, we let ourselves done in that respect.
“There wasn’t much difference in who had the most football on the day, it was pretty even, we let ourselves down in that last little bit.”
Dally M Points
3 James Maloney (WAR)
2 Lance Hohaia (WAR)
1 Tyrone Roberts (NEWC)