Warriors and Broncos draw in Brisbane

By Te Ao - Māori News

The good news for Warriors fans is that they can boast about not losing this week. The bad news is they can’t about winning. After 100 minutes, both teams remained deadlocked at 18-all, the first draw in the NRL in three years.

Really though, the game at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane is one the Warriors can look back on and rue the opportunities they missed, especially after a first half in which they played some of their best football of the season. 

While they conceded the first try of the game after only six minutes, the Warriors dominated the opening 40. Adam Blair wound back the clock with a run down the sideline to score in the corner off a Kodi Nikorima short ball, then the recalled Issac Luke barged his way over under the posts in the 20th minute to give the Warriors the lead.

David Fusitu’a scored a trademark spectacular aerial dive into the corner to push the Warriors out to a 10 point lead at halftime, however, it probably should have been a fair bit more given the amount of possession and territory they enjoyed. But they were constantly let down by poor last tackle options, meaning that the home side were always within striking distance.

Issac Luke then gifted the Broncos a way back into the contest when he fumbled a kick through after halftime. Darius Boyd followed up to score near the posts, which Kotoni Staggs converted. Then, in the 64th minute, David Fifita cut back against some weak tackling to put the Broncos ahead.

The Warriors looked like they had butchered what should have been a good win, but a late penalty saw Luke even up the scores and send the game to golden point.

Nikorima had four chances to win the game with field goal attempts, and his last effort only just drifted to the left of the posts. James Segeyaro had a perfect chance to bang one over for the Broncos, but completely rushed his attempt and saw it slide across the face of the posts too.

The result keeps the Warriors in 11th spot on the NRL ladder. They face Shaun Johnson and the Sharks next weekend in Wellington. 

Warriors 18 (A Blair, I Luke, D Fusitu'a tries; Luke 3 goals)

Broncos 18 (P Haas, D Boyd, D Fifita tries; K Staggs 3 goals)

HT: 16-6 Warriors