A comeback makes for an entertaining game but it was not to be for the New Zealand Warriors who ultimately fell short at home against the Brisbane Broncos.
Down and out of the game at the end of the first half, the Warriors to their credit fought back well and looked to get something out of the game.
They were their own enemy, though, with errors and penalties galore, a lot of which led directly to promising attacking opportunities for the Broncos.
They started the game on fire, with clinical play and no handling errors until the 26th minute of the game.
They could have scored even more points in the first half, had it not been for some sloppy play and execution on their part.
Despite the best efforts of Shaun Johnson to kick-start the Warriors attack – and to some extent, he managed to do so – the deficit was simply too much and a late Broncos try sealed their win.
One aspect of the game that pleased Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was his side’s defence, which he praised.
“To these guys’ credit our defence is pretty good right now, they [the Warriors] got two tries off bombs and we denied them on a number of occasions which turned out to be the difference in the game,” Bennett said.
“They just got in the groove, they completed set after set [in the second half].
“We were working really hard defensively.”
It was a simple equation for Warriors coach Andrew McFadden – his side were in an attacking rut in the first half and just could not get out of it.
“That happens in a game. I thought we started well and were certainly very physical,” he said.
“We put the ball in goal and it looked like we were going to get a repeat set, it was overturned and then we didn’t touch the ball for 10 minutes.
“You have got to be prepared to work your way out of that.”
Injuries have not helped the Warriors by any means. With key players Konrad Hurrell and Sam Tomkins out, there are clear gaps in the Warriors attack.
“We had our opportunities to win the game, we just didn’t take them,” McFadden said.
“I think as a team we just lacked that composure in the end. Our young kids are doing a great job, we have plenty of them in the side at the moment but we got beat by a pretty good and experienced side today.”
Player of the Game:
3. Justin Hodges
2. Jarrod Wallace
1. Solomone Kata
Broncos 24 (Oates, Maranta, Wallace, McCullough tries Parker 4 goals) def. Warriors 16 (Townsend, Allwood, Kata tries; Johnson 2 goals at Mt Smart Stadium. Crowd: 14,67. Halftime: 16-0.