23 Aug 2015

Warriors put out of their misery

6:33 am on 23 August 2015

The New Zealand Warriors' mathematical hopes of making the National Rugby League playoffs have been emphatically ended with a 50-16 home thrashing by North Queensland.

The Warriors needed to win their last three games to have any chance of finals football, and they looked on track for one of those victories at Mt Smart after scoring three early tries to none to lead 16-0 in Auckland.

Warriors half Tuimoala Lolohea scores the opening try against the Cowboys

Warriors half Tuimoala Lolohea scores the opening try against the Cowboys Photo: Photosport

Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo and Dominic Peyroux all crossed to have the home faithful hopeful of avoiding a sixth straight defeat, but the Cowboys then poured on 50 unanswered points.

And to make matters worse, the Warriors also lost their forward Jacob Lillyman to a fractured cheekbone in the first half - and the Queensland State of Origin prop's season is likely to be over.

The Warriors' faces say it all

The Warriors' faces say it all Photo: Photosport

Elsewhere, the Sydney Roosters claimed top spot in the NRL with a gutsy 12-10 win over the Brisbane Broncos in Sydney.

But the Roosters have paid a massive toll with Kiwis prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves's NRL season over with a knee injury.

They are also expected to be without halfback Mitchell Pearce for several weeks after he suffered a suspected hamstring tear.

Both were taken off in the opening 20 minutes, but Trent Robinson's side still managed to grind out a memorable win that saw them jump the Broncos to be within touching distance of their third straight Minor Premiership.

The Cronulla Sharks scored their biggest-ever victory over the Wests Tigers, the Sharks winning 40-18 to firmly put themselves in contention for a top-four finish to the regular season.