NRL 2020: NZ Warriors score thrilling 26-20 comeback win over Wests Tigers

At a glance: Warriors 26 (Hiku x2, Harris, Lawton tries, Nikorima 1pen, 4con) bt Tigers 20 (Mbye, Nofoaluma, McIntyre, Talau tries, Mbye 2con)

The NZ Warriors have produced a spirited, skilled and fighting performance in beating the Wests Tigers at the Sydney Cricket Ground. 

Trailing 8-0 in less than 10 minutes, the writing appeared on the wall for the beleaguered NRL club, but a 26-6 run lifted the Warriors to a thrilling victory. 

The Warriors repelled a late Tigers fightback to score a 26-20 win - the club's fourth of the COVID-19 interrupted season. 

Center Pita Hiku scored a double in a fine individual performance while loan prop Jack Hetherington was a standout, running for 146 metres and making 27 tackles. 

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck put a few uncharacteristic mistakes behind him to end with 234 metres, while his kicking game produced three second-half line dropouts.

But it was the Tigers who dominated the opening exchange, scoring two unconverted tries through skipper Moses Mbye and winger David Nofoaluma. 

Bu quick thinking from hooker Karl Lawton got his club back into the contest, making the most of a quick Tohu Harris play the ball, to run 20 metres and score the opening try for the Warriors.

Kofi Nikorima levelled the scores on the half-hour mark with a penalty goal, while Hetherington and Lawton went close to giving the Warriors the lead.

But the Tigers swung the momentum in their favour just before halftime, capitalising on poor discipline from Adam Blair, who gave away two penalties inside a minute. 

Bench player Sam McIntyre danced pass some wayward Warriors defending to give the Tigers a 14-8 halftime lead.

But the Warriors would produce their best 30 minutes of 2020 to open the second spell, turning 70 percent possession into 18 points. 

Hiku scored five minutes after the break, with a skilful run, beating several tackles to score from 10 metres out, and he would add a second with 30 minutes to play. A heads-up play from Nikorima set Eliesa Katoa free and his offload found Hiku in space on the left-hand side. 

Hiku had plenty to do, but he beat a covering Luke Brooks with an inside dummy, before running around Nofoaluma and dot the ball down just before his foot touched the sideline.

Tohu Harris stretched the lead to 12 minutes later, leaving the Warriors with 13 minutes to hold on for an unlikely victory.

Tommy Talau's 73rd-minute try was converted by Mbye, but the Warriors defence held on grimly to earn two competition points.

The win leaves the Warriors with four wins from 12 games, in 12th spot, four points outside a playoff spot, with the Manly Sea Eagles awaiting next week. 

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