Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Round 21 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Cronulla Sharks from Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
FT: WAR 12-26 CRO
Final hooter goes and it's another disappointing night for the Warriors. Right in it at 12-14 but they fell into a soft patch and the Sharks are too good not to pounce. What makes matters worse is Lisone is on report and Thompson sounds like he'll miss some weeks after hearing a 'snap' in his shoulder which saw him leave the field. So the Warriors' hopes of the NRL playoffs become even slimmer as they effectively must won all five of their final games to have a chance. That'll do it for our live updates tonight.
77min: WAR 12-26 CRO
Clock ticking down as the Warriors make 69m on their set but can't convert on the fifth tackle. A high ball from Foran is followed up by no one including the Sharks and Holmes finally appears to clean things up. Sharks continue to kick the ball for the sideline to end their sets to keep the clock ticking over.
74min: WAR 12-26 CRO
Warriors survive another late surge from the Sharks as their set finishes with a knock on by Gallen. Its a Warriors scrum on their 10m as a result.
72min: WAR 12-26 CRO
CRO TRY! Sharks look like they've put the final nail in the coffin as Fifita gets a trademark offload off 20m from the line to put Prior in space. He passes to his left as RTS comes in to make the tackle but the pass goes behind! No Warriors are there to clean up the loose ball though so Bukaya comes through and dives over to score.
70min: WAR 12-20 CRO
Sharks get more attacking position to work with as RTS is penalised for being offside chasing Foran's kick on the last tackle. It's not an attacking kick either - just a chip on halfway. Sharks start their set on the Warriors' 40m.
67min: WAR 12-20 CRO
Warriors get a great attacking chance themselves as Lino is hit late while kicking. They start on the Sharks 20m. Two hit ups get them inside the 10m. They go left and it's knocked on! Poor passing option by Hingaro who has just come on pitch for Luke. Sharks set up a a scrum and have a sigh of relief.
66min: WAR 12-20 CRO
Sharks in great attacking position again as the Warriors are penalised for hitting the kicker late. As a result, it's a new Sharks set on the Warriors 20m. Big set coming up here for both teams. Sharks look to settle in the middle of the field but Fifita knocks it on! Warriors get out of jail with a scrum on their 10m.
63min: WAR 12-20 CRO
CRO TRY! Sharks score on the following set as the go wide to the left wing with numbers and it's a simple finish for Feki. The lead stretches back out to eight.
60min: WAR 12-14 CRO
WAR DROPOUT! Sharks finish the set with a deft grubber under the posts. They look sure to score but Kata appears from no where to kick it dead. What a save but the Warriors aren't out of the woods yet.
59min: WAR 12-14 CRO
Sharks get things back underway as they're given a penalty for the contact. So the Sharks start with a set on the Warriors 30m. Lisone has been put on report for the hit.
59min: WAR 12-14 CRO
Serious concerns now for Sharks standoff Brown after he stays down trying to tackle Lisone. Replays show as he goes in for the tackle, Lisone's knee connects directly with his temple. No intent in it. Just an unfortunate collision and he is out like a light. Stretcher is out on the field. This isn't looking good as Brown is still down 5min after the contact.
58min: WAR 12-14 CRO
Thompson has left the field. Looks like a shoulder injury that he's sustained while trying to chase down another grubber oh his own making. We'll get an update shortly.
56min: WAR 12-14 CRO
RTS comes up big for the Warriors as he scoops up a difficult grubber and keeps in the field of play. Even better, he then gets the penalty for being held down too long! Warriors therefore get to start their set on their 30m instead of just inches from their line. Great work from the skipper.
53min: WAR 12-14 CRO
Warriors make impressive metres on their set to get all the way inside Sharks' 10m but Luke knocks the ball on cold at the ruck as he tries to pass quickly. Painful, painful errors ruining momentum again. Things go worse as the Warriors then give away a penalty for holding on too long in the tackle so the Sharks get a new set on their 40m.
50min: WAR 12-14 CRO
WAR TRY! Kearney's faith in Lino is restored as the young half threads a perfect ball for Thompson to score! Warriors shift it right and the Sharks stay back thinking a grubber is on but it's passed by Lino to Thompson running a clean line and he slices through untouched! Game on!
48min: WAR 6-14 CRO
CRO DROPOUT! Bodene Thompson of all people forces a dropout with a grubber to Feki. Warriors were direct with the set before going to the right and opting for the grubber. Pressure stays on the Sharks.
46min: WAR 6-14 CRO
CRO DROPOUT! Warriors get a positive and it's a confidence booster for Lino. They earn a great starting spot for the set when the Sharks kick out on the full. They finish the set on the right with Lino. Perfect grubber from 10m traps Feki and it's a dropout!
43min: WAR 6-14 CRO
CRO TWO! Sharks nab two points early as they earn a penalty 10m from the line as the Warriors hold on in the tackle too long. Perfect start for the premiers. Good set finishes with a donated scrum and a penalty to extend their lead further than a converted try.
42min: WAR 6-12 CRO
Sharks get an early attacking chance as Fusitua has a brain explosion trying to take the kick on the final tackle into touch in the full. Instead he catches it, then steps out and it's a Sharks scrum on the Warriors 20m as a result. Worst possible restart for the Warriors as they immediately fall back under pressure.
40min: WAR 6-12 CRO
Warriors get things back underway with a deep kick to the middle of the field.
HT: WAR 6-12 CRO
Warriors get one last chance with a penalty giving them a set on the Sharks' 20m but when they go wide on the second tackle, Lino opts for a perculiar grubber that goes straight to Feki's hands. It ends what has been a very rough half for the fill-in No.7 and the pressure will now be on Kearney to decide whether he keeps Lino in or tries Hingaro. Overall, both sides have had chances to score but the Sharks have looked the more likely to. But poor execution has cost them while a lack of direction from the Warriors has them looking unlikely to score at all - their only try of the night came from an intercept after all. Still, the teams head to the sheds and both coaches will have a lot to say. We'll be back in 15min with the second half.
37min: WAR 6-12 CRO
Warriors get out of jail after knocking the ball on inside their 20m as the Sharks respond with a forward pass. Warriors scrum on their 20m to restart some sloppy play from both sides.
35min: WAR 6-12 CRO
Warriors earn themselves a penalty on their 10m after Fusitua makes a brilliant leaping take on the Sharks' high ball. That gives them a new set 35m out - much more desirable than starting inside their own 10m.
32min: WAR 6-12 CRO
CRO TRY! Sharks respond almost immediately as Lino, once again, knocks the ball on cold. Only problem is this one is just 30m from his own line and the Sharks scoop it up and run it in to score. Painful footy.
29min: WAR 6-6 CRO
WAR TRY! Kata scores with a runaway intercept! Sharks try a skip pass to the right wing but Kata gets a hand to it. He juggles the ball on his 40m before bringing it under control and running all the way to the left corner to finish.
26min: WAR 0-6 CRO
The Warriors attempt to go wide to the right wing and it's knocked on as Lino miss-times his pass to RTS. Sharks go 50m on the following set and kick for the sideline to slow the Warriors down. They will start from their 20m with a scrum.
24min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Warriors defend the set easily as RTS scoops up a poor grubber and their rewarded with a penalty as Lewis is pinged for a high tackle on Mannering. Warriors restart on the Sharks' 30m. Big attacking chance here as they earn another penalty. It's a fresh set just 10m from the line.
22min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Matulino knocks it on cold on the Sharks' 30m for the Warriors' 3rd error of the night. Sharks scrum to come.
21min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Warriors lose the ball on the last tackle but the Sharks only make 27m on their set so it's good territory to work with for the home team. They start their new set on halfway.
20min: WAR 0-6 CRO
WAR NO TRY! Warriors get a fresh set 20m from the Sharks' tryline after Cronulla is ruled to have raked the ball in a tackle against Mannering. Warriors play quickly and Foran is taken down just short. Luke picks and goes to his right and rolls over the line. The ref says on the field it's a try but the bunker comes in and sees they can't see him ground it. Warriors restart on the fourth tackle 2m from the line.
18min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Warriors get inside the Sharks' 10m for the last. Foran tries to grubber but the tackle on him is timed perfectly and he can't get it off in time. Sharks with a zero count 5m from their line.
16min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Cronulla goes 42m on their set and kick for the left corner. Warriors run it out and earn themselves a penalty as the Sharks tacklers hold on too long! That's a new set on the Sharks' 40m.
15min: WAR 0-6 CRO
CRO NO TRY! Sharks go high on the last this time and Fifita soars to bring it in. He's 2m from the line, he tries to stretch it but knocks it on in the process! Warriors escape for a restart on their 20m.
13min: WAR 0-6 CRO
WAR DROPOUT! Sharks finish the set with a clever grubber towards the right side of the field and RTS is trapped. Smart set with a smart finish. Six more coming up for the visitors.
12min: WAR 0-6 CRO
There's the first handling error of the game and it's Feki with a loose play the ball. That gives the Warriors a scrum on the Sharks' 20m and their first attacking chance. Warriors try to go back to the right after the first hit up but Mannering's pass is behind Lino and he knocks it on. Warriors make matters worse with a penalty on the first tackle so the Sharks clear for a restart on halfway.
9min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Sharks get a scrum on their 10m after a a better set from the Warriors. They go 54m into Sharks territory before Foran finds the sideline with his kick. Big defenisive set needed here to pin Cronulla down in their half.
7min: WAR 0-6 CRO
Sharks go 44m on their set after the kickoff but an average kick from Townsend gives the Warriors a chance to respond. They reach halfway on their 39m set but it's another poor kick that Holmes brings out to the Sharks' 20m.
5min: WAR 0-6 CRO
CRO TRY! Cronulla finish the set with an easy try and the Warriors look asleep! It's nothing special, a simply pass down the line towards the right wing, grubbered through the line. No Warriors give chase and the Sharks dive on it to score. Perfect start for the Sharks. Complete opposite for the Warriors.
2min: WAR 0-0 CRO
Warriors go 55m on their first set. They go high with the kick on the last. It falls on the Sharks' 10m for an easy leaping catch by Holmes and RTS hits him mid-air. He tries to pull it but that's an obvious penalty. Sharks restart on their 40m, charge upfield for the first hit-up and it's another Sharks penalty already for a dangerous tackle. So that's two penalties and a new Sharks set starting on the Warriors' 30m.
Sharks get things underway with a deep kick to the right corner.
The maths is looking increasingly grim for the Warriors - but a flicker of NRL finals hope continues to burn strong.
With six round-robin matches remaining, Stephen Kearney's troops need at least five wins to hit the traditional 28-point finals barrier - yet, beyond tonight's clash with the high-flying Sharks, that challenge doesn't seem insurmountable.
Matches against fellow battlers Newcastle, Canberra and South Sydney will follow, before a major test at home in the form of sixth-placed Manly.
A tussle with the lowly Tigers will then close out the season.
For Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, there's no reason why his 12th-placed side can't sneak into the top eight - or even cause an upset this weekend over the fourth-placed Sharks, who have lost three of their past six games.
All the right signs had been there in the Warriors' 24-12 loss to North Queensland last weekend, particularly up front.
Typically flaky for much of the 2017 campaign, the Warriors' forwards showed genuine steel against the Cowboys, making more running metres than their opponents and neutralising the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Coen Hess.
"The Sharks, they're another similar team to the Cowboys - a big forward pack," Tuivasa-Sheck said, referring to the rampaging Andrew Fifita.
"If we can continue to have our middles play that physical game up front, and a few of us fix our execution plays - that's where we lost in the last game - against the Sharks, we can fix it up and come away with the points.
"A lot of the errors from the Cowboys game were players just not clear on what plays we're on, where we're supposed to be."
With Shaun Johnson still nursing a knee injury, Mason Lino retains his grip on the Warriors' No.7 jumper ahead of fellow young gun Ata Hingano.
More damaging for Kearney's side, however, is the loss of prop James Gavet to an arm injury - placing the onus on Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman to front.
Kearney was confident the pair would do the business.
"The focus this week is on making sure, up against another good team, that we make them earn every metre they can," Kearney said.
"All week it's been about making sure it's an 80-minute performance, and not having those periods where we drop off. It's a wonderful challenge against the defending premiers and what they bring."
WAR: 1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kieran Foran 7. Mason Lino 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Issac Luke 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Bunty Afoa 13. Simon Mannering 15. Sam Lisone
WAR Interchange: 10. Ben Matulino 16. Ligi Sao 17. James Bell 14. M. Hingano
CRO: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 16. Kurt Capewell 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Gerard Beale 6. Fa'amanu Brown 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. James Segeyaro 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen
CRO Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Adam Clydsdale 17. Jeremy Latimore