Warriors shine to rain on Pearce’s 250th
It was a frustrating Round 22 loss for the nib Newcastle Knights who struggled for answers against a physically imposing Warriors outfit.
The Knights fell 20-4 at Mt Smart Stadium following a standout performance from Blake Green.
It was a slow start for the Knights with the Warriors getting the better of the field position to start the game.
Sione Mata'utia produced a bone-rattler on Agnatius Paasi to deny the Warrior before a repeat set off the back of a penalty saw the Knights cross first.
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A floating pass from Mitchell Pearce in his 250th NRL game found an un-marked Ken Sio who cut back in-field and beat five defenders to stretch out and score.
Sio couldn't convert his try and the Knights took a four-point lead.
The contest became an arm wrestle from that point.
A dropped ball from Cory Dennis put the Knights on their heels and when a perfectly weighted grubber from the boot of Green secured the Warriors a repeat set, the home side looked likely.
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But a desperation play to pounce on a Green kick from Herman Ese'ese denied the Warriors.
While the visitors were able to deny the home side for 30 minutes, some razzle dazzle play from Shaun Johnson and Gerard Beale put Adam Blair over.
Johnson then converted the try for a 6-4 lead.
The Warriors struck again shortly after through the wing of David Fusitu'a when Mitchell Pearce sprinted out of the line and was exposed by a bullet pass from Green.
Down 12-4 at halftime, Green continued to influence the game but this time it was a solo effort where he zipped through the guts of the defence to score.
With the Warriors up 18-4, Pearce stepped up to deliver a perfectly weighted grubber for Aidan Guerra but the lock couldn't ground the ball.
A penalty goal with less than three minutes left on the clock secured victory for the home side 20-4.