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NRL: Warriors Women undone by Kiwi star

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sun, 16 Sep 2018, 8:21AM
Langi Veainu of the Warriors looks dejected after losing to the Dragons. (Photo / Getty)
Langi Veainu of the Warriors looks dejected after losing to the Dragons. (Photo / Getty)

NRL: Warriors Women undone by Kiwi star

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sun, 16 Sep 2018, 8:21AM

The Warriors have lost their second NRLW match — and were undone by a Kiwi Ferns legend.

Honey Hireme was brilliant at the back for the Dragons, running for 178 metres, making five tackle busts and scoring an outstanding first-half try.

The Sydney team triumphed 22-10, in a remarkable turnaround after being smashed by the Broncos the week before.

A win for the Auckland club could have booked a grand final appearance in two weeks but it never looked likely. The Dragons were more urgent, organised and clinical.

After being so impressive last week against the Roosters, the Warriors dropped a notch.

They were full of errors, and halves Georgia Hale and Laura Mariu couldn't impose themselves on the match, while Hale struggled with her fifth tackle options.

There were moments of momentum but the Warriors couldn't capitalise. They dropped the ball twice over the line and were caught on the fifth tackle on several occasions.

Hooker Krystal Rota was again superb, while Apii Nicholls and Lorina Papali'i acquitted themselves well, but few others stood out.

It's a setback for the Warriors, and their grand final hopes now rest on a positive result against the unbeaten Broncos next week.

After making the best possible start last week, the beginning of this match was a bit of a nightmare as they conceded two tries in the first six minutes.

They had a overlap as they attacked down the right edge but Dragons winger Shakiah Tungai anticipated Nicholls' pass and ran 90 metres to dot down by the posts.

The next try was a hammer blow, as Hireme showed why she has been rated one of the game's best players for the past decade.

After taking an offload 20 metres from her own line, Hireme exploded into space, before beating Nicholls with a David Campese-esque sidestep.

The Warriors tried to respond, and went close three times but were generally too lateral in their approach.

The Dragons, smashed last week by the Broncos, were aggressive in defence and even survived 10 minutes with a player in the sin bin.

The Warriors needed to respond in the second half but struggled to complete their sets with any authority.

The Sydney team went further ahead as Rikeya Horne crossed early, before an opportunistic try from Racquel Anderson-Pitman gave the Warriors some hope.

But a remarkable effort from St George Illawarra centre Jessica Sergis, as she steamrolled over four defenders, sealed the result, with Sarina Clark grabbing a late consolation try for the Warriors.

Dragons 22 (S. Tungai, H. Hireme, R. Horne, J. Sergis tries; S. Tungai 3 goals)
Warriors 10 (R. Anderson-Pitman, S. Clark tries; A. Nicholls goal). Halftime: 12-0

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