23 Mar 2009

Jones says he was too tired to talk

6:37 am on 23 March 2009

The Warriors prodigal son Stacey Jones says he was so tired he couldn't talk as he turned back the clock and Manly's NRL title defence to engineer a thrilling 26-24 win over the premiers at Brookvale Oval

With the Warriors on the verge of yet another road loss after the Sea Eagles had rallied to grab an eight point lead with just 11 minutes remaining, Jones stepped up in his first game back in the NRL since August 2005.

Barely able to make it from one tackle to the next as his 32-year-old legs struggled to keep up with the hectic pace he pulled off a vintage chip and chase to drag the Warriors back into the match.

Brent Tate's second try closed the gap to 24-20 before Jones kicked to the corner where Jerome Ropati scored and Denan Kemp converted.

Jones says he really struggled in the heat and got a lucky bounce with the chip and chase.

But Manly's coach Des Hasler says his side was powerless to stop the veteran playmaker.

It's the Warriors ' second win of the season.

They lost four times to Manly last year and looked like losing again when they were quickly down 10-0.

But they hit back with three tries to lead 16-10 at half-time.

In other games Parramatta beat South Sydney 14-8, Brisbane beat Melbourne 16-14, St George beat Gold Coast 16-10, the Bulldogs beat Penrith 28-26, North Queensland beat the West Tigers 42-14 and the Roosters beat Canberra 28-4.