Sport

Red V speed men embarrass woeful Warriors

Kalifa Faifai Loa of the Dragons makes a break.
Kalifa Faifai Loa of the Dragons makes a break. DAVID ROWLAND

WHAT now for the Warriors?

The NRL's greatest enigma is how New Zealand's only club can continually underachieve despite housing the international spine, and a host of other Kiwi stars.

The latest embarrassment came in the form of a 30-14 loss at the hands of St George Illawarra in Waikato on Friday night.

The Dragons - missing internationals Josh Dugan and Gareth Widdop - ran riot with the ball in hand and the Warriors had little answer.

The Red V speed men - led by outside backs Kalifa Fai Fai Loa, Tim Lafai, and Nene Macdonald - had a night out against the flimsy Warriors defence. Makeshift five-eighth Kurt Mann was equally impressive.

The Warriors hit the board first through milestone man Ben Matulino.

Playing his 200th NRL game and having been promoted off the bench, the big prop practically waltzed through a disoriented Dragons defence to score.

And while it took the visitors a good 20 minutes to start playing football, when they finally did it hit the home side like a fireball.

The Dragons ran in three tries in the space of 13 minutes - none better than the first, which was the handiwork of wingers Fai Fai Loa and Macdonald.

Lafai also played a hand in the stunning team try, then scored his own in the 33rd minute off some crafty ball-playing from Josh McCrone and Mann.

The Warriors looked a basket case in defence but managed to rally in attack, and rookie winger Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad crossed in the corner to make it 18-10 at the break in favour of the Dragons.

It was much of the same in the second half, as the Dragons' halves and outside backs continued to wreak havoc against an out-of-sorts Warriors defence.

Macdonald was rewarded with his own try in the 50th minute, then Taane Milne got in on the action with a meat pie to seal a superb night for the outside backs.

 

Nene Macdonald of the Dragons.
Nene Macdonald of the Dragons. DAVID ROWLAND

Nicoll-Klokstad scored his second as a consolation late in the piece but it was far too little, far too late.

If Paul Vaughan is not on Laurie Daley's teamsheet when it's made public on Monday night, there is something seriously wrong with the selection process.

The Dragons prop has been the form NSW forward of the season and continued his stellar campaign against the Warriors on Friday.

During a dismal opening 20 minutes in Waikato, Vaughan was a shining light for the visitors.

In his first stint on the paddock - which was little more than half an hour - he racked up 130 running metres.

By full time he had amassed 218 metres.

If he's not one of the Blues bookends for State of Origin, he deserves a bench spot at the very least.

You would think the international New Zealand halves pairing would dominate at club level.

You would be wrong.

The Warriors looked lost in attack and it was their No.6 and No.7 who can shoulder the blame.

While Kieran Foran has been the club's best player this season, even he looked off his game in Waikato.

And the out-of-form Shaun Johnson had another night to forget just a fortnight after the pair represented their country alongside one another in the Anzac Test.

Johnson's last-tackle options were plain bizarre at times and his kicking was atrocious, highlighted by an attempted grubber kick which hit the turf before his foot.

Neither of the Warriors halves ran the ball once in the first half. In comparison the Dragons halves had six between them.

Foran won't be at the club next year but Johnson has just signed a contract extension.

Something will have to change in their partnership if the club plans on playing finals in 2017.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  nz warriors st george illawarra dragons


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 jailed, prison drug business run with smuggled phone

"Vile and insidious drug" leads to syndicate jail terms.

Nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan heads into Brisbane

On top of being a mobile military airport, the USS Ronald Reagan is its own floating city, with at least 5000 sailors on board at any time.

The Nimitz class airline carrier towers 20 storeys above waterline

Elite school brings in sleep expert

The survey found seniors were the most sleep-deprived.

Survey of students find most sleep deprived because of study, tech

Local Partners

'It's crap': Carpark chaos at Bremer High

A LACK of parking at Bremer State High School is causing frustration for parents, some of whom have been slapped with hundreds of dollars in fines.

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

Beauty blogger’s horribly racist product review

A POPULAR beauty blogger and model has come under fire for using a racist slur in a recent post.

Outrage as Ninja Warrior cuts Australia's fittest man

Adelaide’s James Newbury was mysteriously cut from the Ninja Warrior broadcast.

Australia's fittest man wasn’t good enough for Ninja Warrior.

Maggie's whirlwind trip around Japan

Maggie Beer pictured in a scene from her TV special Maggie in Japan.

Cooking icon serves up the best of Japanese cuisine in new TV show.

Exploring our complex relationship with the Southern Cross

Warwick Thornton in a scene from his documentary film We Don't Need A Map.

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton explores national identity, nationalism.

Ben will be cooking with Oma

Masterchef 2017 contestant Ben Ungermann.

MASTERCHEF'S last man standing will draw on his Dutch heritage.

Prince Charles and Camilla heading for Qld

Prince Charles and Camilla

It promises to be a holiday fit for a King

Eddie McGuire to come back as Footy Show co-host

Eddie McGuire at the Million Dollar Lunch annual fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

Footy Show axes Craig Hutchison, Sam Newman survives

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Townhouses planned for Nicklin Way site

CBRE's Brendan Robins and Rem Rafter on site at Wurtulla.

Prime 1.5ha Sunshine Coast property set for town homes development

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Locky eyes next 'series' win

WINNING COMBINATION: Rugby league great Darren Lockyer is to launch his collection of house designs with Ausmar on Saturday at Caloundra.

NRL legend Darren Lockyer in Sunshine Coast partnership

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!