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Near flawless Warriors slay hapless Dragons for NRL restart victory

Relive 1 NEWS' live coverage of the Warriors' NRL return against the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.

6:46pm: FULLTIME - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

Last play for the Dragons as Ben Hunt skews his kick. Time's up, and the Warriors take the win!

6:44pm: 78 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

Katoa goes at the line in search of his second try on the Warriors' fourth, but he's held up. Blair throws a forward pass on the restart though.

Dragons' scrum.

6:42pm: 76 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

The Dragons go close in the corner through Ravalawa, but Maumalo gets across to save a certain try and keep the clean sheet intact!

6:40pm: 75 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

Oh no! The Warriors have finally made an error after 44 sets! Oh hang on, they've challenged the call! The decision is upheld though.

6:37pm: 73 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

The Dragons have a crack down their left side, before they go back the other way. Sims takes the ball up the middle before the Dragons attempt to go to the right. They take the tackle on the last though. Another poor set from the Dragons.

The Warriors celebrate Eliesa Katoa's try against the Dragons Source: Photosport

6:33pm: 71 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

Chance for the Dragons as Lomax chases a kick through the Warriors' line. Maumalo gets there first and hoofs the ball over the dead ball line. Maumalo staying down too, but it only looks like cramp.

6:32pm: 70 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

Into the final 10 minutes now as Beale takes a tackle. Green tries a banana kick over the top but Dufty takes it well. After his initial error, Dufty has been very good under the high ball.

6:27pm: 66 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

Dufty tries a chip over the top for the Dragons, but Murchie is there to tidy up. The Warriors will have a go here, but they don't need to rush.

Blair does well to take the ball up the middle, before Green's kick is allowed to bounce. 

The Warriors have also completed all 40 of their sets today, the first team in the history of the NRL to do so.

6:20pm: 58 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

There's confusion as Papali'i gets to a loose ball, but play on is the call. Tuivasa-Sheck goes at the line but is held up. Egan goes from dummy half in the restart, before the Warriors go wide to Tuivasa-Sheck out on the left. Nikorima kicks and it hits the upright, straight to Harris!

The ball's being thrown everywhere before the Warriors lose it! Crazy set.

6:16pm: 55 mins - Warriors 18 Dragons 0

TRY!!! Nikorima splits the Dragons' line before being tackled. Green kicks the loose ball and has a run but loses it, only for Dufty to get a hand on it - six more. 

Nikorima gets the ball again, and he goes for the line and scores! He'll now look to convert his own try, but he pushes this one right.

6:08pm: 47 mins - Warriors 14 Dragons 0

Penalty! The Dragons give away a penalty as Norman takes out Tuivasa-Sheck in the air. The Warriors' fullback was a chance to score there, but no talk of a penalty try. 

Nikorima will have a shot at goal, and he's landed this one too. 

Adam Blair has also passed his concussion test.

6:03pm: 43 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Kerr loses the ball in the Dragons' hit up, Katoa forces the mistake. Warriors' ball.

6:02pm: 42 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Paasi produces a great run to get the Warriors rolling in the second. Green goes to the air and Dufty takes the ball with no pressure on him before he breaks the Warriors' line.

Norman kicks, before Paasi takes him out dangerously to give away a penalty. He'll go on report for that one.

We're also hearing that Katoa has passed his concussion test.

6:00pm

Corey Norman kicks off to start the second half.

5:58pm

The Dragons are the first team out of the tunnel again. Tuivasa-Sheck delivers another stern message.

Elsewhere, it looks like Peta Hiku is out, his ribs heavily iced.

5:46pm: HALFTIME - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

That's the half, the Warriors so far looking good. The Dragons with much to improve on in the second 40.

5:45pm: 40 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Into the final minute of the opening half and the Warriors will have one last crack. Harris makes good metres inside the 20, before Green has a crack at a field goal that goes about two metres off the ground.

Dragons' ball.

5:42pm: 37 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

The Dragons get two separate set restarts, before the Warriors give away a penalty - Paasi the culprit. This should be a good chance for the Dragons to score.

Vaughan goes close, before Norman goes from dummy half, taken by Murchie. Mix up between McIness and Lawrie and Lawton snaps it up.

The Warriors get out of jail there.

5:40pm: 35 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Another six again call for the Warriors, this time inside their own half though. Nikorima kicks on the last, but Dufty beats Tuivasa-Sheck in the air to give the Dragons a set.

5:36pm: 32 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Katoa has now gone off for a concussion test, another blow for the Warriors if he's out - and now Adam Blair is limping from the field?!

He'll be off for and HIA by the sounds of it too. 

5:35pm: 31 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Warriors scrum after a good bit of play from Nikorima. Tuivasa-Sheck runs on the first before Murchie has his first touch as a Warrior.

Tohu Harris takes the line on, before Egan goes over. It looks held up, and Egan doesn't celebrate, no try.

The Warriors will start again 10m out on the last. Papali'i goes at the line, before the set is called.

5:30pm: 27 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

Peta Hiku has left the field with a rib issue, no word on how serious it is, but the last thing the Warriors need is an injury.

5:28pm: 25 mins - Warriors 12 Dragons 0

TRY!!! The Warriors win a penalty inside the Dragons' half and can attack again. Green and Nikorima combine on the fourth, before Nikorima goes short to Katoa and he breaks the line to score!

Katoa with his first NRL try to put the Warriors into double figures. Nikorima lines up the kick, and he shapes it back through the posts.

The Warriors double their lead.

5:23pm: 20 mins - Warriors 6 Dragons 0

Norman and Dufty combine on the Dragons' fourth before they play hot potato on the last. Lawrie runs at the line on the last and is tackled to give the ball away, the third time the Dragons have done so.

5:19pm: 16 mins - Warriors 6 Dragons 0

Warriors scrum. Green feeds and Herbert runs from the back. Tuivasa-Sheck goes from dummy half, but is stopped in his tracks. Katoa makes good metres post-contact. Green kicks on the last, and this time Dufty holds it.

5:16pm: 13 mins - Warriors 6 Dragons 0

The Warriors get another six again call inside the Dragons' half. Harris nearly puts Papali'i through but the tackle is good. 

Taunoa-Brown takes the tackle on the fourth, before Egan's pass is wayward. Hiku tries to run the ball, but he's tackled on the last to turn the ball over.

5:13pm: 11 mins - Warriors 6 Dragons 0

The Dragons with their first real chance as Hunt breaks the line. Frizell is held up on the last though, wasted set there for the Dragons.

5:12pm: 10 mins - Warriors 6 Dragons 0

The Dragons' handling is letting them down early on as Ravalawa spills a kick into touch for a Warriors restart. 

Nikorima kicks on the last and Ravalawa spills it, but the call goes against the Warriors? Wrong call.

5:09pm: 7 mins - Warriors 6 Dragons 0

TRY!!! The Warriors get the first 'six more' call of the match and can attack through Harris. Green and Tuivasa-Sheck combine as the Warriors go right inside the 10. Green kicks on the last, but Dufty can't hang on!

Taunoa-Brown is there to pounce on the loose ball, and he scores! Hang on, the referee wants to check whether or not Katoa's onside or not.

Replays look good - that'll be a try! It's given, Taunoa-Brown's first try of his career! 

Nikorima converts and the Warriors lead by six!

5:05pm: 5 mins - Warriors 0 Dragons 0

Green puts a bomb up, Maumalo and Dufty clash in the air, and the Warriors winger gives away a penalty for a dangerous tackle.

Vaughan makes good metres after the tackle as the Dragons advance forward. Norman kicks on the last but Herbert claims it on his wing.

5:02pm: 2 mins - Warriors 0 Dragons 0

Ravalawa takes the first hitup, but stays down clutching his head after the tackle. Play on. Graham and Frizell make runs, Sims takes the fourth, Hunt kicks on the last and Herbert takes it.

Maumalo, Hiku and Harris all run the ball at the Dragons' line, all tackled. The Warriors kick on the last. 

5:00pm: KICKOFF - Warriors 0 Dragons 0

And we're away! Tuivasa-Sheck kicks deep and the Dragons have first use of the ball...

4:58pm

Cameron McIness leads the Dragons out, remember that it's technically an away game for them.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck leads one last huddle for the Warriors, before the Kiwi side come out of the tunnel and onto the park.

4:53pm

Both sides back in the sheds for their final preparations. Both the Warriors and the Dragons are winless in 2020, so victory today will be a huge relief to whoever can come out on top.

4:45pm

Here we go then! Both sides are warming up, kick off around 15 mins away.

PREVIEW

More than two months on from a 20-6 defeat to the Canberra Raiders, the Warriors return to action, albeit in a much different reality.

After the global outbreak of Covid-19, the Warriors have relocated across the ditch and are now based on the Central Coast, taking on the Dragons in their first match at their new home.

The Warriors have suffered a spate of injuries since their arrival across the Tasman, losing forwards Leeson Ah Mau and Jazz Tevaga, while Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei were already ruled out of 2020. New signing Jack Murchie finds himself rushed into the side as backup.

Meanwhile, centre David Fusitu'a is also absent for today's match, having arrived in Australia late and not fully up to speed with the rest of the squad.

TEAMS:

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2. Patrick Herbert, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Gerard Beale, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Blake Green, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Wayde Egan, 13. Adam Blair, 12. Tohu Harrus, 17. Eliesa Katoa, 11. Isaiah Papali'i.

Interchange: 14. Karl Lawton, 15. King Vuniyayawa, 16. Agnatius Paasi, 22. Jack Murchie.

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty, 2. Jordan Pereira, 3. Brayden Wiliame, 4. Zac Lomax, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Korbin Sims, 9. Cameron McInnes (c), 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. James Graham.

Interchange: 14. Josh Kerr, 15. Blake Lawrie, 16. Tyrell Fuimaono, 17. Euan Aitken.