Rugby League

Tuivasa-Sheck shines as Warriors down Dolphins in Auckland

February 24, 2024 4:43 pm

[Source: NRL]

With their forwards in full force and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck launching his 2024 campaign in style, the Warriors downed the Dolphins 34-22 in Auckland on Saturday.

After a gutsy loss to the Wests Tigers in Week 1 of the Pre-Season challenge, Andrew Webster’s side went up another gear on Saturday with forwards Mitch Barnett and Marata Niukore laying the platform up front while Tuivasa-Sheck gave fans plenty to be excited about ahead of Round 1.

The Dolphins meanwhile stayed in the contest for the entire match but face a nervous wait to hear an update on star forward Tom Gilbert who was assisted from the field early in the second half.

Article continues after advertisement

The Warriors kicked off proceedings 14 minutes into the match with five-eighth Luke Metcalf fooling defenders with a Tuivasa-Sheck decoy before sending Marcelo Montoya barging over in the corner.

The home side crossed again just three minutes later with Barnett finishing off a Kurt Capewell line break, charging through the Dolphins’ right-edge.

Just as the visitors were looking to work themselves into the game, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak intercepted a Kodi Nikorima pass, bringing all of Go Media to their feet as he glided 50m downfield.

The Dolphins got on the board in the 32nd minute when Jake Averillo scored his first try as a Dolphin courtesy of a Nikorima grubber and the visitors reduced the deficit 18-6 at the break.

The second term began in devastating scenes with Gilbert going down with a suspected knee injury in the 45th minute of the match.

Come the 50th minute and star halfback Shaun Johnson stamped his authority on the match with a sublime pass sending centre Rocco Berry over for a 24-6 lead.

Three minutes later and Nikorima turned provider again, putting the ball up for a leaping Jack Bostock who outcompeted Ali Leiataua before crashing over the line. Jamayne Isaako added the extras to make it 24-12.

The Warriors forwards continued to stand tall with Marata Niukore getting in on the action, doing it all himself to charge over the line and looked to blow the game wide open.

But the Dolphins refused to lay down with star recruit Herbie Farnworth who finishing off a slick right side raid to score his second try of the Pre-Season Challenge and fan favourite Valynce Te Whare crossing three minutes later to close the gap 30-22.

But Webster’s men had the last say with Tuivasa-Sheck gracing fans with his magic, bamboozling defenders with his footwork and finesse to create an opportunity for Leiataua to cross in the shadows of fulltime for a 34-22 victory.