Roosters out-enthused by Warriors

The New Zealand Warriors have made it four wins a row tonight, in front of over 11,000 fans at Allianz Stadium, beating a flat Sydney Roosters outfit to show they aren't a side to be forgotten about in the 2013 NRL competition.


Fullback Glen Fisiiahi, who was shifted from the wing before kick off after Kevin Locke was ruled out through injury, was the star of the show.


Assisted well by big names Shaun Johnson and Feleti Mateo, Fissiahi showed once again why he is a star on the rise in the competition and a potential full-time fullback for Matt Elliot's side.


The Warriors opened the scoring in just the fourth minute after Elijah Taylor was the beneficiary of a fantastic short ball from halfback Johnson, who found the flying lock in a hole in the Roosters defensive line just 10 metres out. Taylor had little to do after finding himself in space and crashed over to open the Kiwi's account for the night, with Mateo converting to make it 6-0.


It wasn't long before they were back on the board again, this time through late-inclusion Ngani Laumape in the 17th minute.


Laumape was on the end of a beautiful sweeping play down the right edge, including touches from both playmakers Thomas Leuluai and Johnson plus fullback Fissiahi, with Konrad Hurrell simply having to draw and pass to gift the young winger a try and make it a ten point game with less than 20 minutes gone.


As the half began to wind down it was the Roosters who were doing all the attacking and a quiet Chooks crowd were on their feet after skipper Anthony Minichiello was gifted a beautiful ball from a rampaging Sam Moa and dived across to register his sides first of the night and ensure they headed into the break with some points on the board.


Moa burst through the line, after a great pass from halfback Mitchell Pearce, and ran over a brave Fissiahi and - off balance - found Minichiello who finished well.


However with many fans simply happy to be on the board before the break, they found themselves even happier to be heading in with the lead after Pearce was again involved in setting up another when the ball went down the left only for the NSW Blues conductor to switch it back inside and find a floating Sonny Bill Williams who had little trouble with the Warriors defence and crashed over for his sixth try of the year.


Maloney converted to see Trent Robinson's men head into the break with a two-point lead.


However, that was to be the final points for the Roosters tonight.


A slow start to the second half saw neither side cross the chalk in the opening twenty minutes and just as that looked to ended by the Roosters, with the Tricolours pressing the Warriors line, the man of the match Fisiiahi pounced on a wayward chip kick from Jimmy Maloney to dance and step his way through the defence and run 80m to regain the lead for Kiwi's.


Just fifteen minutes later and it was like deja vu for Robinson and his men, as another wayward kick was shut down by the Warriors as the Roosters looked to be going close.


Manu Vatuvei managed to stick a leg out and block a Shaun Kenny-Dowall grubber, pick up the scraps and run 90m to cross in the corner and make it an eight-point lead with just ten minutes remaining on the clock.


With nearly a point a minute required the Roosters began to throw everything at the Warriors line and poor last-play options ended up burning the Bondi Club, as they looked to play too fancy a style resulting in mistakes on both sides of the field close to the NZ sides line.


A late penalty from Johnson, right in front of the uprights, saw them extend the lead to 10 with just under five minutes remaining and all but close out the match and claim a gritty, hard-fought win in front of a vocal travelling band of Warriors fans.


Johnson, one of many stars for coach Elliot on the night, was back in the action again however with just over 60 seconds remaining on the clock as the halfback slotted himself into the pocket on the last play of what was to be their final attacking set and nail the drop-goal.


That's where it stayed, with the Warriors victorious 23-12 over the much more fancied Roosters and keep their winning ways going heading into a BYE next weekend.


The Roosters earlier had trio Michael Jennings, Pearce and Maloney named once again for NSW meaning they'll head into this Friday night's blockbuster clash with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium without three of their biggest stars.


Friday will be the first time former Bulldog SBW will play at ANZ Stadium in a rugby league clash, since his return from rugby union at the start of the year.