20 Jul 2009

McKinnon scores winner for Warriors

6:36 am on 20 July 2009

A brilliant solo run by full-back Wade McKinnon has stolen a 30-24 victory for the New Zealand Warriors at the Sydney Football Stadium, rubbing salt into the wounds of axed Roosters coach Brad Fittler.

In what has been a tumultuous 24 hours for the Roosters, the Sydney side looked good for its 18-10 half-time lead and was poised for victory when local product Tom Symonds scored with 10 minutes remaining for a 24-20 lead.

But in the dying minutes McKinnon weaved his way between Roosters chasing a Mitchell Pearce kick and ran almost 90 metres to score adjacent to the posts.

Stacey Jones' conversion and a try by the veteran half-back on the hooter handed the Warriors a much-needed victory to keep alive their faint hopes of reaching the finals.

On the back of three-straight losses, coach Ivan Cleary said he was looking for his players to break the shackles and play positive football however he says you saw two sides who looked like they're not used to winning.

Fittler learned on Saturday night that his contract with the bottom-of-the-ladder Roosters would not be renewed for 2010 and he would be replaced by current Newcastle boss Brian Smith.

The Warriors are in 12th place, 5 points outside the top 8.