As it happened: Warriors slay top of the table Dragons thanks to miraculous last-gasp play

The Warriors have handed the Dragons their first loss of the 2018 NRL season, dowing St George Illawarra 20-12 at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland tonight.


The Warriors have fired a warning shot in the NRL. With a man down and losing star forward Tohu Harris in the first half the New Zealand club came out on top showcasing some amazing defence and attack in the dying moments of their NRL clash against table toppers the Dragons. 

78 mins - WARRIORS 20 DRAGONS 12

TRY! What a play from the Warriors, Mason Lino puts in a perfect cross-field kick and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck makes the catch. He offloads to Adam Blair who then gives to Paasi. Paasi passes it to Blake Green. And they are lining up down the left edge, Green delivers it to the 19-year-old Isaiah Papali'i who scores what should be the match winner.

Mason Lino misses his shot at goal.

76 mins - WARRIORS 16 DRAGONS 12

FUMBLE! A huge moment in the match with Kurt Mann knocking the ball on and the Dragons welcome the Warriors back into their half.

72 mins - WARRIORS 16 DRAGONS 12

TRY! Tariq Sim runs a great line and crashes over for the Dragons and grounds the ball on the line. We are in for a big finish here at Mount Smart Stadium.

Gareth Widdop lands the conversion and the Warriors lead by four points with six minutes remaining in the match.

66 mins - WARRIORS 16 DRAGONS 6

TRY! Issac Luke comes up with a huge play for the Warriors, hits a pin-point 40/20 and the moments later crashes over to score for the home team.

Mason Lino knocks over the two from easy range and the Warriors lead by 10 points with 13 minutes remaining on the clock.

62 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 6

NO TRY! Tim Lafai has been denied a try for the Dragons after the TMO in the bunker rules that James Graham had knocked the ball on in the lead up to the possible try. 

57 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 6

The Warriors run out of room down the left edge and the Dragons come up with a big defensive play dragging Warriors centre Anthony Gelling into touch.

56 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 6

And the rain begins to fall at Mount Smart, a big defensive set from Warriors as the Dragons are forced to kick the ball on the last for the first time of the second spell inside their own 50m line.

Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Vodafone Warriors v  St George Illawarra Dragons. NRL Rugby League. Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand. Friday 19 May 2017 © Copyright Photo: Bruce Lim /
Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in action against the Dragons during an NRL match in Hamilton. Source: Photosport

53 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 6

NO TRY! The Warriors were stretched on defence down their right flank, Dragons centre Tim Lafai looked like he was in to score but it was David Fusitu'a and Pita Hiku who came up with the try-saving tackle. The Dragons look to be the side with all the energy at the moment, the Warriors are really struggling at the moment. The crowd are playing their part egging their side on with cheers and chants.

50 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 6

TRY! The Dragons are on the board after Ben Hunt makes an excellent break. he dummies the ball and finds himself in space. Hunt steps around two Warriors defenders before putting his head down and diving over to score.

The conversion is good by Gareth Widdop and the Warriors are back to 13 players with Blake Green returning to the field.

48 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

NO TRY! The Warriors march their way down into the Dragons' territory. Mason Lino puts in a pin-point cross field bomb with David Fusitu'a getting up and making the catch. He offloads the ball to Tuivasa-Sheck but the Dragons force the turnover with Tuivasa-Sheck losing the ball 10 metres out of the Dragons' goal-line.

45 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

Anthony Gelling makes the final tackle on Dragons centre Euan Aitken with the visitors opting to run it on the last. Adam Blair has been a machine on defence, he has played the full 45 minutes for the Warriors made to play big minutes with Harris gone for the rest of the match.

44 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

Warriors second rower Tohu Harris is done for the match after suffering a concussion in the first half.

41 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

DEFENCE! Roger Tuivasa-Sheck makes enough contact on a rampaging Dragons forward Leeson Ah Mau who breaks the line. A poor final kick from Dragons' half Gareth Widdop and Mason Lino has the ball. A started as a good set from the Warriors ends badly with Sam Lisone losing the ball on the Dragons' 40m line.

40 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

And we are back underway! Issac Luke gets things started with a big kick-off towards the Dragons.


Strap yourself in for a big half of league. Try scorers in the first half for the Warriors were Mason Lino and English import Anthony Gelling. Bad news for the Warriors midway through the first half with Tohu Harris suffering a head knock, he is replaced by 19-year-old Isaiah Papali'i.


A huge cheer from the crowd in the final play of the first spell. Jason Nightingale has the ball down the right edge and it looked like the Dragons had a chance to score just before the break but the Warriors are on him quickly and drag him into touch. The Warriors have been sensational in the first spell on both attack and defence, they will be on the back foot in the second half with their half Blake Green in the bin.

39 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

SIN-BIN! Blake Green has been sent to the bin for deliberately standing offside. The Dragons have a chance to score just before the break with the Warriors down to 12 men.

35 mins - WARRIORS 10 DRAGONS 0

TRY! It's the English import Anthony Gelling who goes into score his first try for the Warriors, he showed great footwork at the line before crashing over. And it was Blake Green who delivered the pin-point pass right at the line for Gelling.

Mason Lino lands his kick at goal.

33 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

GOAL-LINE DROPOUT! Blake Green puts in a perfectly weighted kick with Dragons' winger Jason Nightingale forced to play at the ball. The Warriors are on fire at the moment, they have the ball and are on attack again.

32 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

PENALTY! Issac Luke goes on a darting run up field and tries to play the ball quickly after being tackled on halfway and finally the Warriors get the call go their way. The Dragons are penalised for slowing down the play of the ball.

29 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

DEFENCE! The Warriors show great heart on defence just as it looked like Gareth Widdop was going to score down the left edge Pita Hiku comes up with the try-saving tackle. The Dragons don't know what to do with the ball on the last tackle and the Warriors force the visitors 30 metres back. Dragons forward Leeson Ah Mau has the ball last and the Warriors wrap him up, the Warriors fans go up with a massive cheer.

28 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

The Warriors have been warned for giving away too many penalties inside their own 20m line. The next penalty could see a Warriors player in the bin.

26 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

INJURY! Bad news for the Warriors - Tohu Harris is on the ground with medics checking on him. Isaiah Papali'i has come onto the field to replace him.

24 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

The Warriors kick early again in their set with Blake Green kicking on the third tackle, searching for a 40/20. The ball bounces into the Dragons' 20m line but stays in the field of play. Dragons fullback Matthew Dufty has the ball and tries to step around several Warriors defenders but he is shut down early. The Warriors look pumped up - the line speed and chase from the home team is causing all sorts of trouble for the visitors.

22 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

DEFENCE! A huge cheer goes up from the Warriors fans as three players shut down Matthew Dufty with a big hit. He looked dangerous skipping across field. Ben Hunt puts in a huge cross field bomb but David Fusitu'a gets up above everyone and makes a safe catch.

20 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

PENALTY! The Warriors are penalised for slowing down the play of the ball. And it is Tohu Harris who is at fault, he stays on the ground momentarily after copping a knee to the head from Dragons second rower Tariq Sims.

16 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

GOAL-LINE DROP-OUT! The Dragons come so close to scoring down the right edge but Warriors' centre Anthony Gelling makes a spot tackle on Dragons centre Euan Aitken and forces him into touch. Aitken manages to throw a loose pass back into the field of play and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck jumps on it with the Dragons players forcing him into the in-goal.

13 mins - WARRIORS 4 DRAGONS 0

A massive defensive set from the Dragons as Blake Green is forced to kick on the last inside the Warriors 30m line. The Dragons begin their set on the halfway line.


NO TRY! The Dragons looked dangerous on attack with their fullback Matthew Dufty sparking the attack with a scamper down the left edge. But the passing from the visitors doesn't stick and Dragons winger Nene Macdonald drops the ball over the goal-line.


PENALTY! The Warriors are penalised on their own 40m line after an obstruction play from Agnatius Paasi who takes out a Dragons defender.


TRY! Mason Lino slips out of one tackle after making a great pick up after an offload from Adam Blair hits the ground. Lino gets on the outside of Dragons' half Gareth Widdop and puts on a goose step. The Dragons' defence is in disarray and he dives over to score the first try for the Warriors.

Mason Lino misses the shot at goal from out wide.


The Warriors decide to kick on the fifth tackle and it pays off. Some big defence from the Warriors' forwards and the Dragons are forced to kick on the last inside their own half.



And we are underway! Dragons half Gareth Widdop kicks off long with the ball landing just outside the Warriors 10m line.


The Warriors are without Shaun Johnson and Solomone Kata who are out due to injuries.

Mason Lino replaces Johnson in the halves and Anthony Gelling shifts to centre, taking Kata’s spot. Simon Mannering replaces Leviaha Pulu at second row.

St George Illawarra have won 13 of their last 14 clashes against the Warriors.

The Dragons have won all six of their NRL matches with the Warriors suffering their first loss of the season last week to the Broncos, going down 27-18.

Gareth Widdop will be playing his 100th NRL match for the Dragons with the English import leading the competition in NRL points, try assists, goals and line-break assists in 2018.

The Warriors lead the competition this year for offloads with 98 in six games.


Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu'a, 3 Peta Hiku, 17 Anthony Gelling, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 20 Mason Lino, 8 Bunty Afoa, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 11 Simon Mannering, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Albert Vete.

Dragons: 1 Matthew Dufty, 2 Nene Macdonald, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Jason Nightingale, 6 Gareth Widdop (c), 7 Ben Hunt, 8 James Graham, 9 Cameron McInnes, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Tyson Frizell, 12 Tariq Sims, 13 Jack De Belin.

Interchange: 14 Jeremy Latimore, 15 Kurt Mann, 16 Leeson Ah Mau, 17 Hame Sele.