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NZ Warriors upset Sea Eagles

Staff Reporter 6/09/2013 | | |
The NZ Warriors have won their third successive match, beating Manly 18-16
Warriors 18 Manly Sea Eagles 14. Image Credit: NRL.COM
The Brisbane romp last week may have been spectacular, but for the New Zealand Warriors their narrow NRL victory over Manly is far more meaningful.


The Warriors showed character that has been missing at times this season when they came back from a 12-0 deficit to topple the fourth-placed Sea Eagles 18-16 in a tense encounter at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
It was a much tighter match than their 56-18 thrashing of a weakened Broncos team last Monday, but coach Matthew Elliott says it's more important given the challenge Manly posed.
"I wouldn't put it down as a slick performance but I would put it down as our most meaningful performance of the year," he said.
"That's a high quality team that we played tonight and we probably didn't start in the fashion we would have liked. I thought it was a real indication of where the character of the Warriors is headed."
Captain Simon Mannering said second half composure was key in allowing them to take the points in a tight game.
"There was a number of games this season where we let it slip in that last 15 minutes," Mannering said.
"Tonight we didn't do anything special, we just stuck to our guns and it paid off."
Manly started well after a succession of penalties in the first 20 minutes. They targeted the right of the Warriors defence and were rewarded with converted tries to Justin Horo and Peta Hiku.
But after a couple of penalties the Warriors got some field position in the second quarter, and converted tries to Elijah Taylor and Manu Vatuvei saw them end the first half on level terms.
Despite a high error rate from Manly after the break, the teams settled into an arm-wrestle and it wasn't until Konrad Hurrell went past five players cutting back across the grain that the deadlock was broken.
Shaun Johnson's conversion proved the difference, as a Steve Matai reply five minutes later was one Jamie Lyon couldn't convert from the sideline.
The win takes the Warriors to 10 competition points and they face a tough task away to the Roosters next week to continue their resurgence.
"For me it really makes next week's game the most important one of the season. We've got a bye after that and I really feel we're on the verge of gaining some momentum," Elliott said.
Manly got frustrated with penalties against them in the last 60 minutes but Lyon said it wasn't what beat them.
"We were dropping too many balls. We're our own worst enemy at the moment. We've got to fix it up," Lyon said.
AAP

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