New Zealand Warriors impressed in the NRL’s return round as they beat St George Illawarra 18-0 at the Central Coast Stadium.
The Warriors started in strong fashion, with Jamayne Taunoa-Brown capitalising on a Matt Dufty knock-on following a kick. Kodi Nikorima converted to give his side a 6-0 lead after eight minutes.
Stephen Kearney’s Warriors extended their lead midway through the first half thanks to Eliesa Katoa. The Tongan ran a superb line to bulldoze his way over. Nikorima added the extras again, with his side leading 12-0 at the break.
New Zealand international Nikorima stretched the Warriors’ advantage in the 46th minute after slotting a penalty goal.
The half-back duo of Nikorima and Blake Green was in fine form for the Warriors – and Nikorima got on the scoresheet to put his side 18 points in front after 54 minutes.
The closest the Dragons came to score was in the final five minutes but Ken Maumalo produced a try saving effort on Mikaele Ravalawa. The Warriors saw the game out and ended impressive 18-0 victors.
New Zealand Warriors: Tuivasa-Sheck; Herbert, Hiku, Beale, Maumalo; Nikorima, Green; Taunoa-Brown, Egan, Blair, Harris, Katoa, Papali’i. Subs: Lawton, Vuniyayawa, Paasi, Murchie.
Tries: Taunoa-Brown, Katoa, Nikorima Goals: Nikorima 3/4
St George Illawarra: Dufty; Pereira, Wiliame, Lomax, Ravalawa; Norman, Hunt; K Sims, McInnes, Vaughan, Frizell, T Sims, Graham. Subs: Kerr, Lawrie, Fuimaono, Aitken.
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