NRL 2 years ago

Extra-time fortune smiles on Warriors

  • Extra-time fortune smiles on Warriors

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 30: Ken Maumalo of the Warriors is congratulated by teammates Bodene Thompson, David Fusitu'a and Shaun Johnson after scoring a try during the round 21 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The Warriors have finally won a NRL match in golden-point, with an 89th-minute Shaun Johnson try giving his side a 20-16 win against Penrith.

The 25-year-old Johnson shaped to kick a field goal with just a minute of extra time remaining at a wind-swept and rainy Mt Smart Stadium, before dancing past several onrushing Panthers defenders to score next to the posts.

The match was the fourth time in five matches the Warriors found themselves in extra time, having being locked at 16-16 after 80 minutes, and the first they managed to win.

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The two sides ground out an inauspicious opening period, with only Nathan Cleary's penalty goal separating the sides.

However the game sprang into life in the 17th minute when the ninth-placed Warriors edged in front.

Reinstated young gun Tuimoala Lolohea made good yardage down the left, before Thomas Leuluai kicked cross field to David Fusitu'a to catch the ball uncontested and go over.

The Warriors dominated the first half with 58 per cent possession and made in excess of 200 metres more than Penrith with the ball, and proceeded to grab another four-pointer in the 35th minute.

Penrith conceded a scrum deep in their own half after Dallin Watene-Zelezniak fumbled a Leuluai grubber, and halfback Johnson took full advantage by playing in winger Ken Maumolo.

Issac Luke's conversion from the corner and sent the Warriors into the break ahead 10-2.

However, the Auckland-based side couldn't sustain their momentum into the second half.

Rookie Panthers halfback Cleary peeled past the Warriors' defensive line and offloaded to Isaah Yeo, who played in centre Tyrone Peachey to score in the 44th minute.

Eight minutes later, the Warriors, having settled, extended their lead.

Johnson found himself deep in Penrith's half after winning a penalty and shifted the ball right for Fusitu'a to nab his second.

An unconverted Panthers try by winger Josh Mansour in the 65th minute reduced the lead to four points, before Mansour grabbed his second to level the scores with eight remaining.

Cleary missed the kick, sending the match into extra time.

Luke wasted a golden opportunity in the 83rd minute to lay on a pass to a waiting Johnson in front of goal, before Johnson wasted his own chance to kick a field goal in the 87th.

A Penrith knock-on in the subsequent play gave the Warriors a third opportunity to win, Johnson duly delivering to the delight of the 13,026-strong crowd.

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