29 Aug 2016

Warriors' playoff dreams over

5:48 am on 29 August 2016

The New Zealand Warriors' hopes of making the National Rugby League playoffs are now over, after losing 36-24 to the Wests Tigers at Mount Smart on Sunday evening.

Warrior Sam Lisone is tackled during the NRL match Warriors v West Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday 28 August 2016.

Photo: Photosport

The Tigers scored three unanswered tries in the final 10 minutes to secure the win in what had otherwise been a very tight contest, with the score see-sawing throughout the match.

Look back at the commentary here:

The Warriors started strong, with Bodene Thompson crossing the line for the home side after just seven minutes, which Isaac Luke then converted.

But the Tigers responded twice through Sauaso Sue and captain Aaron Woods, thanks to some great running attack inspired by the captain, to take the lead 12-6.

In the final 10 minutes of the half the momentum swung back to the Warriors.

First Solomone Kata scored after some brilliant speed down the left wing, then three minutes later Simon Mannering went over beneath the posts.

Luke converted both tries to take the Warriors into the break with a 18-12 lead.

Solomone Kata scores a try for the
Warriors in their loss to Wests Tigers.

Solomone Kata scores a try for the Warriors in their loss to Wests Tigers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It was the visitors who scored first after the break though. Joshua Addo-Carr outran four defenders over 70 metres to put the ball down in the left corner, and Rankin tied the scores up with a cracker of a kick from the sideline.

But the home side only had to wait seven minutes to edge in front again.

Some great footwook from Shaun Johnson pulled the defenders in from the right wing to leave Tuimoala Lolohea clear to run it in for a try, which was again converted by Luke.

Four minutes later Johnson looked to have pushed the Warriors further ahead with some more fancy footwork beating the Tigers defence, but replays showed Woods was obstructed and the try was disallowed.

It was then that the Tigers pounced on an unsuspecting Warriors side with three unanswered tries.

Sauaso Sue went over for his second try of the match and Rankin tied things up with his boot.

Poor defence from the Warriors saw Mitchell Moses cross the line and take the lead for the visitors, before Kevin Naiqama added insult to injury with a try in the final two minutes of the game.

The loss means the Warriors cannot possibly make the playoffs now, but the result means the Tigers' finals hopes are still alive.

They must beat the Raiders next Sunday and the Titans must lose to the Cowboys on Saturday night for them to finish in eighth place.

The Warriors have not made the playoffs since 2011 when they made it all the way to the final, but they lost that match 24-10 to the Manly Sea Eagles.