June 16, 2024

In the SG Ball Cup (under-19) competition, the One New Zealand Warriors came dangerously close to defeating Parramatta in their opening-round match today in Sydney.

Grant Pocklington’s Warriors had been playing well for the whole of the game, but the defending premiers had to rally to win 32–20.

Junior Warriors Awards Evening, 6 September 2017 | Photosport New Zealand

The visitors showed minimal interest in the idea that the Eels were a heavy favorite.

The Warriors gave up an early try and then a penalty, but they bounced back with two touchdowns in five minutes via fullback Motu Pasikala (29th minute) and winger Sio Kali (24th minute), taking a well-earned 10-8 lead into halftime.

Jeriko Filipi-Talisau’s converted try opened the score to 16-8 early in the second half, but the Eels cut it to 16-14 four minutes later.

However, the One New Zealand Warriors struck back once more, with center Hiraka Waitai-Haenga scoring to give his side a 20–14 lead at the half.

They were unable to fend off the Eels, though, as the home team tied the game at 20-20 before scoring two more late tries to win by 12 points.

Next Sunday, the Warriors will meet the North Sydney Bears at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe for their second-round matchup.

Parramatta Eels 32 (Mohamed Alameddine 2, Lorenzo Talataina, Sebastian Piukala, Dominic Farrugia tries; Dominic Farrugia 5 conversions, penalty).

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