Live updates: NRL - New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights

FULLTIME: WARRIORS 20 - 4 KNIGHTS

80mins: Warriors just looking to close the game out as Johnson puts the kick through, takes a deflection into touch and that's fulltime! Warriors win.

78mins: Guerra makes a good run up the middle before Ponga bumps off Luke! The Warriors hooker's struggling to get up from it. 

76mins: Afoa makes a strong charge up the middle up over half way. Tuivasa-Sheck dancing his way around the field, making several players miss. Mannering charges onto it and goes close and the Warriors get the penalty and they extend their lead with the shot at goal through Johnson.

74mins: Ese'ese sets off on a nice run across field before winning the penalty. One of the few bright spots for the Knights tonight. He's been immense. 

72mins: Pearce puts the kick up, it's high, but the chase is poor, Tuivasa-Sheck takes it comfortably before setting off a nice run, beating several defenders.

70mins: Green has a crack from dummy half down the short side and is smashed. Crowd goes up for a high shot but nothing from the ref. Warriors again chase superbly on the kick and force the Knights back inside their own 10m.

68mins: Kata bumps off another Knights player! Warriors in good field position, Papalii shows good hands to take Tuivasa-Sheck's low pass. Papalii's does well to get the offload away on the last, but can't find his support player and Ponga cleans up.

66mins: Luke's goes right through, shows the goose step, tries to offload as he hits the deck but Tevaga can't hang onto it. Great run from Luke. Sio has a crack and is drilled into the turf by Paasi, forcing the knock on.

64mins: Beale reads the Knights' attack beautifully and makes a great spot-tackle on Ponga to stop the threat. Buhrer puts the grubber through, it holds up and the Warriors force it down for the line drop out.

62mins: Ponga makes about three Warriors tacklers miss before finding his support player with the offload. The kick through is too heavy though and it rolls dead.

60mins: Maumalo makes a strong run up the middle before Paasi follows suit, bumping one off. It's an average kick on the last but the chase is superb, meeting Kenny-Dowall upon the grab.

58mins: Kata has a crack, drops the shoulder and DEMOLISHES Heighington. What a run. Johnson spots space, puts the kick through along the deck and Sio's forced to take it dead for another Warriors set.

56mins: Knights with their best chance to score since their opening try, making good metres, charging their way to the try line. Pearce puts the grubber through for Guerra, he looks to have dived on it for the try but we'll go upstairs. Oh no, he's butchered that. Knock on in his attempt.

54mins: Ponga does well to take the catch of Green's bomb with Kata right up on him. Knights really in need of something here and they get it as Johnson's penalised for being offside.

52mins: WARRIORS TRY - GREEN: Tevaga does well to find the offload with bodies all around him. The Knights are struggling to make-up defenders in the middle as Green gets it, he beats one tackle, fends another before stepping out of one and he's over for the try! What a run! 

50mins: Ponga looking to create something he's well looked after, as he has been all game. Pearce puts up the bomb, Fusitu'a goes up, takes it well before the Warriors are awarded the penalty at the play of the ball.

48mins: Johnson hits the line at pace, he's got Fusitu'a outside him, floats the pass but the winger knocks on just a few metres out from the try line. Had defenders in front of him, but would have backed himself had he caught it.

46mins: Green takes the line on, finds Mannering and he's wrapped up well. They go to Johnson, he holds the ball up nicely, drops the ball onto the boot and the Knights force it down for a line drop out.

44mins: Luke has a crack from dummy before Papalii hits the line. Warriros go right to Fusitu'a but he's well defended. Johnson puts a nice bomb up, but Mata'utia gets up to claim it and run it out of danger.

42mins: We're back underway in the second half and it's the Knights who have it first up. Sio has the first carry and he's well looked after by a number of Warriors tacklers. 

HALFTIME: WARRIORS 12 - 4 KNIGHTS

40mins: Johnson's kick on the last is hurried, he switches to the right foot and kicks it out on the full. Knights making metres up the middle before it comes for Ponga on the left. Pearce puts the bomb up, and it falls into Maumalo's hands and that's halftime.

38mins: Knights try to put it quickly through the hands but Ponga gets it on the back-foot and is forced to clean up the set. Pearce puts the bomb up and Fusitu'a takes it easily.

36mins: Afoa makes another strong run from the kick-off before Tuivasa-Sheck sets off on menacing surge. Johnson puts the bomb up but Ponga takes it beautifully before the Knights get the penalty.

34mins: WARRIORS TRY - FUSITU'A: Warriors riding a nice wave of momentum, winning the penalty before Afoa makes a strong run up the middle. They go right to Fusitu'a on the right wing, he's got plenty to do, puts the foot down, bumps off Ponga and rides three other tackles and dots down for the try!

32mins: Afoa and Mannering make a couple of nice runs before Tuivasa-Sheck almost goes through. Johnson gets the ball deep, finds a bit of space, puts the bomb up on the run but the Knights are there to claim it.

30mins: WARRIORS TRY - BLAIR: Tuivasa-Sheck somehow steps himself into a bit of space, offloads to Johnson, he gives it to Beale on his inside, he takes the tackle before offoading to a surging Blair and he's over for the try! His first in Warriors colours.

28mins: Knights swarm on Afoa, forcing a slow play of the ball. Warriors go left through Papalii, before Mannering steps inside, beating one and almost going over. Johnson's grubber is played at before he's tackled without the ball and the Warriors get the penalty.

26mins: Levi surges up the middle from dummy and makes a nice offload before the Knights kick through along the ground, forcing a Warriors scrum on their own 10m.

24mins: Warriors with easily their best set of the game, making plenty of in-roads up the middle. Green grubbers through just a few metres out from the try line, Pearce dives on it and the Warriors will get it back.

22mins: Paasi makes a nice run, forcing a good tackle. Johnson attacks the line, spots space and puts the kick behind, but Ponga reads it well and sherpards it over the dead-ball line for a 20m restart.

20mins: Warriors win their first penalty after a couple of really strong runs up the middle by Maumalo. Paasi looks to charge on the ball but knocks on in contact and the Knights survive.

18mins: Johnson shows the ball and Pearce does well to drag him down. Green puts the bomb up and Kenny-Dowall does well to get up and claim it, before riding a hard takcle over the top.

16mins: Mata'utia makes a strong charge before Ese'ese charges onto a Pearce short ball. Pearce puts in the grubber and Fusitu'a's forced to tap it dead for a line drop out.

14mins: Gavet makes the first-up tackle from the kick-off and is penalised at the play of the ball. Knights with a fresh set just up over halfway.

12mins: KNIGHTS TRY - SIO: Ponga puts a big step on, gets the legs going in tackle and almost goes over! The Knights switch directions to the left, Sio gets it on the wing, cuts back inside, beating a couple of tackles and powers his way over for the try! Had five Warriors players on him, but it didn't matter.

10mins: Denniss makes a good spot-tackle on Blair this time as the Warriors tried to quickly down the right. Green opts against kicking on the last, finds Paasi and he's hit hard and that's a handover.

8mins: Kata makes a good spot-tackle, forcing a blind pass and Maumalo ALMOST intercepts it, but instead, knocks on for another Knights set. He was away.

6mins: Ese'ese makes a strong run, but Papalii does well to hang on. Knights put the kick up, it somehow comes for Johnson and the Warriors attack through Fusitu'a.

4mins: Knights find a bit of space down the left wing after some nice offloading, but Warriors defence up to it and force the kick and Johnson cleans up.

3mins: Knights work their way over halfway before Pearce puts the kick up and Maumalo finds Tuivasa-Sheck, he steps one and ALMOST goes clean through.

1mins: Knights kick-off and it's Gavet who has the first hit-up and he's HAMMERED! Huge collision straight away. Great start to the game.

8:00pm: Moments away from kick-off. The players have made their way out of the sheds and we're just about underway!

7:55pm: Earlier, the Warriors women beat Auckland 30-4 as they build for next month's inaugural NRL competition. Great start to their prep.

7:50pm: Thanks for joining us tonight. The Warriors have a great chance to push their claim for an NRL finals spot. They can leapfrog the Broncos and Sharks with a win tonight.

Kia ora and welcome to live updates of the New Zealand Warriors playing the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium in round 22 of the NRL.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER), and all the action.

Commentary will start from around 7:50pm.  

Lineups

Warriors
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Gerard Beale 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Isaiah Papalii 12. Adam Blair 13. Simon Mannering 

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Leivaha Pulu 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Peta Hiku 20. Joseph Vuna 22. Karl Lawton

Knights
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Ken Sio 3. Sione Mata'utia 4. Cory Denniss 5. Shaun Kenny-dowall 6. Jack Cogger 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Herman Ese'ese 9. Danny Levi 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Aidan Guerra 

Interchange: 14. Jamie Buhrer 15. Chris Heighington 16.Pasami Saulo 17. Jj Felise 18. Nicholas Meaney 21. Luke Yates

Match officials
Referees: Matt Cecchin, Alan Shortall
Sideline Officials: Belinda Sleeman, Chris McMillan
Video Referees: Luke Patten, Ben Cummins

Previous results
Played 38; Warriors 19 wins, Knights 18 wins, 1 draw

Last meeting
Round 22 2017 - Knights 26 Warriors 10

Head to head:
Warriors $1.33 Knights $3.10

Pre-match banter:  Newcastle Knights plan to stop Warriors in must-win clash

Shaun Kenny-Dowall knows the Newcastle Knights must shut down wingers David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo, if they are to beat the Warriors on Friday night.

The New Zealand duo have been crucial to the Warriors success this season, by hitting the ball up early in the set and making big meters inside their half.

Fusitu'a has scored 15 tries this season, averaging more than 100 metres per-game, while Maumalo has dotted down five times, running more than150 per-game.

Kenny-Dowall will mark Maumalo at Mt Smart Stadium and insists it will take a team effort to stop the 'mini-beast'.

"I think I've got Ken and he's a big unit," he told Newshub. "I think stopping them will be a collective effort.

"It's up to us to kick in good positions and force them to run back from areas they don’t want too.

"Stopping them will go a long way to stopping the Warriors."

The Knights have struggled against the Warriors in recent years, losing four of their last five against the Penrose-based club.

They also haven't won in New Zealand since 2012.

Kenny-Dowall believes the kick-game will be deciding factor in the Knights' NRL clash with the Warriors.
Kenny-Dowall believes the kick-game will be deciding factor in the Knights' NRL clash with the Warriors. Photo credit: Photosport

On top of that, the Knights' playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, as they sit eight points outside the top eight with four games left.

A loss at Mt Smart means they will miss out on a finals berth for the fifth straight year.

"It is going to be a tough challenge, but we are looking forward to it," Kenny-Dowall added.       

"When we get it right, we can compete with anyone, but we’ve been making it hard for ourselves over the last few weeks.

"We need to complete our sets and hold the ball, so that's how we're preparing for this game.

"We're looking to finish the season strong and get the win."

The former Junior Warrior joined the Knights mid-way through last season, after the Roosters released him.

The 30-year-old said he enjoyed playing for a young Newcastle team that have finished in the wooden- spoon position in the past three seasons.

"We are definitely a building club, this year we have had a few injuries, but our guys are still developing their game and we're going to see the best of them over the years."

If the Knights do miss out on a finals berth, Kenny-Dowall said he hoped the Warriors do well and make a deep run.

"They have started off well and hope they keep going, - just not this weekend."

Newshub.

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