13 Jul 2015

Acrobatics help Warriors leap up NRL ladder

8:16 am on 13 July 2015

Some freakish plays and razzle dazzle passing led the Warriors to a 28-14 win over the Melbourne Storm and helped the New Zealand club rise to fourth on the National Rugby League ladder.

Nathan Friend throws a miracle pass against the Storm, 2015.

Nathan Friend throws a miracle pass against the Storm, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A Nathan Friend backflip pass over the Storm's Kenny Bromwich and an offload from captain Simon Mannering to Shaun Johnson evoked images of the Warriors of old and helped the home side to a five tries to three win at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Warriors captain, Simon Mannering, says the team has always taken pride in their passing abilities.

"If we can make a measured pass or a measured off-load it tends to create something with the likes of Shaun [Johnson] and Sam [Tomkins] and all that running off it so with some of our guys in the middle it's a strength of ours that we don't want to go away from but we definitely have to worry about earning the right to do that first."

The home side scored three first half tries through Tuimoala Lolohea, David Fusitua and Bodene Thompson to take a 16-nil lead into the break.

Lolohea crossed the line again in the 57th minute as did his team mate Shaun Johnson eight minutes later.

David Fusitua flies to the try-line, 2015.

David Fusitua flies to the try-line, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Johnson also landed four goals to take his points tally for the season to 126, behind only the Raiders' Jarrod Croker, and the Roosters' former Warrior James Maloney.

For the Storm, Marika Koroibete notched a try before Kenny Bromwich scored two.

It's the first time the Warriors have been in the top four this season.