It was a promising start for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in their opening match of the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines but a flurry of tries from the New Zealand Warriors gave them a 34-8 victory.
Winger Tyrone Phillips silenced the locals early when he split the defence, running 25m untouched to score. New recruit Kerrod Holland couldn’t convert from 15m to the right of the uprights, leaving the score at 4-nil after five minutes.
Three minutes later Shaun Lane grabbed the second four-pointer of the afternoon when he ran a smart line off Matt Frawley. The ball was only just grounded but the referee awarded it. Holland sliced the conversion attempt, with the score now 8-nil.
With 40 seconds remaining the Warriors received a penalty and after the restart the home side went through their set, eventually scoring out wide. The try was converted, and with the half-time siren sounding, the Bulldogs went to the break leading 8-6.
The second half was one to forget with five unanswered tries being scored. Jeff Robson grabbed the first one, that was then converted. Solomone Kata bagged a double out on the left wing, with neither being converted, the Warriors had shot out to a 22-8 lead.
The final two minutes saw Nathaniel Roach and Shaun Johnson cross and with both being converted, the scoreboard read 34-8 as the full-time siren sounded.
WARRIORS 34 Def. BULLDOGS 8
At: Eden Park, Auckland