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Warriors 24 Cowboys 20
Warriors - Nikorima, Pompey, Murdoch-Masila & Berry tries; Nikorima 4 goals
Cowboys - Robson, Drinkwater & Taulagi 2 tries; Holmes 2 goals
40th minute - Cowboys are pinned inside their half, but Drinkwater runs on the last and Taulagi kicks ahead. Maumalo gathers and runs upfield, as time expires.
39th minute - Warriors reach halfway on the second tackle. RTS deliberately dies with the ball, leaving the Cowboys 90 metres to score.
38th minute - O'Neill is cut down on halfway, but Holmes' high kick bounces dead.
37th minute - Nikorima, Walsh and RTS threaten, but the final kick is knocked on by Curran on the goal-line.
36th minute - Pompey earns a penalty on his own 10 and Walsh has a chance to relieve pressure. Warriors have run out of subs, so they'll have to play time out with only 12 men.
35th minute - Sironen spills the ball in his own territory and Cowboys have another chance.
Taumalolo rumbles towards the posts, but he knocks on in the tackle. Cowboys challenge the decision for the third time, but replays show a loos carry and Warriors survive.
33rd minute - Holmes again threatens out left, but his last pop-pass to Taulagi is a couple of metres forward.
32nd minute - Warriors desperatley hanging on here, but Drinkwater's pass loses 20 metres.
31st minute - Pompey kicks towards halfway and Cowboys build an attack. Holmes threatens out right and his pass is spilled, but Pompey is penalised for offside.
30th minute - Holmes terrorises the left side again, Taumalolo charges and Drinkwater eventually kicks to the line. RTS slaps the ball dead, so a goal-line dropout.
29th minute - Evans reaches halfway and Walsh puts up a high kick, taken by Taulagi.
28th minute - Taumalolo rumbles over halfway and Holmes chips behind the defence, but Berry runs back to gather.
27th minute - Can the Warriors hold on from here? Remember, they almost scored off their last possession through Walsh.
26th minute - Murdoch-Masila is down, after colliding with Tonga teammate Taumalolo. He doesn't look good and Taumalolo is concerned.
Murdoch-Masila is helped up and off the field for a head assessment.
Try to Taulagi
Cowboys still have tackles in hand and when the ball goes left, Taulagi has the line open in front of him to score. Holmes slices his sideline conversion attempt.
25th minute - Harris puts Walsh into a gap and the teen races up field, but stumbles (again) and loses the ball.
24th minute - Glanville runs from dummy half and reaches halfway. Drinkwater kicks high to Kosi, who catches safely.
23rd minute - Walsh kicks from halfway and Holmes is safe again.
22nd minute - Taumalolo charges, McLean is wraped up and Drinkwater kicks towards the posts, but RTS is beautifully positioned.
21st minute - Pompey sets Maumalo on a run down the left, but Walsh's kick is too deep and gifts Cowboys a seven-tackle set.
20th minute - Warriors need to d-up here. O'Neill tried to kick to the line, but RTS blocks the ball with his foot and dives forward to secure possession.
19th minute - Harris spills the ball in a tackle and Cowboys have possession inside the Warriors 40.
18th minute - Taumalolo is back on the field after a long rest. Hampton dribbles a kick towards Maumalo, who plays it off his foot.
17th minute - On the last tackle Hampton kicks high and RTS catches. Berry runs straight and hard, Harris makes haflway and Walsh kicks high for Holmes.
14th minute - Cowboys penalised in their own territory and Curran takes a quick tap, but Walsh spills the ball to squander that opportunity.
13th minute - Cowboys have the ball in Warriors territory instead. Holmes threatens out left, Hampton kicks to the line and Walsh gathers.
He makes the field of play - just - and is carried back over his goal-line. Penalty.
Cowboys challenge the penalty, which was actually on Holmes for offside. He's found to be OK, but is instead pinged for the high tackle. Total confusion, but the right result.
12th minute - Warriors reach their 30 and Walsh runs on the last. Pompey makes ground down the left and passes infield to Walsh.
He stumbles several metres, but finds Maumalo, who dives over in the corner. The try is reviewed...
Replays show Pompey's pass deflects off Curran's shoulder and goes forward, so no try.
11th minute - Walsh kicks off and Holmes has to make ground to take the catch in the face of charging Warriors defenders.
Hampton kicks high on the last, but RTS takes the catch.
Ninth minute - Try to Drinkwater
Holmes throws a long pass left to Taulagi, who steps out of an attempted tackle from Kosi and streaks up field. Drinkwater looms in support and scores untouched.
Holmes converts, Warriors 24-16.
Eighth minute - Walsh kicks off again and the Warriors defence is up quickly.
Seventh minute - Try to Taulagi
From the scrum, Burr heads towards the line. As the ball goes left, Drinkwater puts a kick behind Kosi and Taulagi dashes through to dot down before the dead-ball line.
Holmes is on target, Warriors 24-10.
Fifth minute - Hampton grubbers on the last and it's fumbled by Maumalo. Cowboys regain possession for another set near the tryline.
Fourth minute - Kosi earns another penalty, after Drinkwater tackles him around the neck. Good attacking position for the Warriors, but Afoa spills it on tackle one.
Third minute - Burr crosses halfway for the Cowboys and Hampton kicks high to Maumalo, no problems.
Second minute - Drinkwater kicks high, but Kosi is secure under the ball. Ah Mau reaches halfway and Walsh kicks to Holmes, who takes the high ball.
First minute - OK, not to jinx this, but the Warriors really need to keep the foot on the throat now and stave off a Cowboys comeback. They need to score first.
Walsh kicks off.
39th minute - Try to Pompey
Afoa threatens to bust the line, Curran offloads in a tackle and finds Pompey running an angle towards the posts to score. Nikorima converts, as halftime arrives, Warriors 24-4.
38th minute - On the last tackle, Walsh puts a little kick along the ground, gathered by Curran, but he's upended in a tackle and Holmes gathers.
Cowboys throw a forward pass, so the Warriors have one last chance before halftime.
37th minute - Afoa dents the defensive line, Harris makes ground into the 20, Ah Mau heads towards the posts.
35th minute - Holmes throws a long pass left to Taulagi, who bobbles. RTS defuses the kick and Kosi is taken in a high tackle that earns a penalty.
34th minute - Walsh kicks off deep into the goal area.
33rd minute - Try to Robson
Holmes threatens out right, but a long pass goes lose. Six more called and the Cowboys threatening.
The pressure tells and Robson runs from dummy half to score untouched.
Holmes hooks the conversion, Warriors 18-4.
31st minute - Hampton grubbers on the last, but RTS tidies up. Afoa rumbles upfield and Ah Mau reaches halfway.
30th minute - Walsh kicks high, Feldt takes it behind him.
29th minute - Cowboys inside Warriors territory, Drinkwater switches the attack, but Hampton decides not to pass to Holmes and dies with the ball.
27th minute - Warriors probing out right, with Kosi given a run at the line. Nikorima kicks to the posts, Holmes catches in the goal area, but RTS has challenged some interference on the chasers.
Pompey appears to get a shove as he tracks the ball, but the challenge is unsuccessful. The challenge did succeed in stopping Holmes tapping quickly and racing away to score.
26th minute - Walsh kicks high on the last and Feldt drops it cold. Warriors in great attacking position.
25th minute - Hess charges over halfway, but cakled by Ah Mau. RTS rises to take a high kick at the end of the set.
24th minute - Murdoch-Masila carries four tacklers to halfway and the Warriors threaten again. Walsh kicks high and Holmes rises to catch.
23rd minute - Cowboys look threatening as they move the ball left, but Kosi makes a big tackle on O'Neill to force a knock-on.
22nd minute - Cowboys get two set restarts in quick succession, but McLean knocks the ball on to let the Warriors off the hook.
Cowboys challenge the decision and replays show no knock-on, so the pressure resumes.
21st minute - Warriors kept inside their own 30 and Walsh has to kick long again.
19th minute - Try to Murdoch-Masila
RTS allows the kickoff to bounce and runs it back from his own line.
From some scrappy play, Nikorima splits the Cowboys defence on halfway and speeds into the 20, finding Walsh in support. Walsh probably could have scored, but cuts towards the posts and finds Murdoch-Masila with a cheeky flick pass to score.
Nikorima converts and this is looking good for the Warriors.
17th minute - Nikorima converts the penalty from directly in front, edging the Warriors a little further ahead, WArriors 12-0.
16th minute - Cowboys kick off and RTS takes the hit up from his line.
Walsh kicks deep and is hit late by Hess. Warriors have a penalty on the Cowboys 20, Walsh is slow to get up and Hess is put on report.
14th minute - Try to Berry
The ball comes right and Nikorima finds RTS steaming up from fullback. He cuts the Cowboys defence to ribbons and finds Berry running a good support line to score.
Nikorima hits the left upright and misses the conversion.
13th minute - Holmes steams over halfway, Hampton puts up a high kick, but Maumalo catches and makes good ground.
Nickorima reaches halfway on the third tackle.
12th minute - Walsh fires a long pass left to Maumalo, but Pompey is eventually tied up on the last tackle.
11th minute - Kosi makes another run, regains some confidence after his previous mistake.
10th minute - Val Holmes probes off the scrum, but loses the ball in the tackle. Relief for the Warriors.
Ninth minute - RTS takes the kickoff and Evans charges upfield again. Kosi drops the ball on the Warriors 30, gifting good position to the Cowboys.
Seventh minute - Try to Nikorima
Kosi has another run, he looks confident. Walsh tests the defence and RTS probes, before finding Nikorima cutting off him.
The half takes a big gap and looks like he might offload before the tryline, but hangs on to score. He converts, Warriors 6-0.
Sixth minute - Cowboys deep in Warriors territory and Drinkwater kicks to the goal area, too deep.
Fifth minute - Walsh kicks from his own 30 and is flattened in the process.
Fourth minute - Cowboys quickly over halfway on the second tackle, so plenty of opportunity to score on this set...
Hampton tests Maumalo again with the kick, but he's equal to the task.
Third minute - After a second set restart, the Warriors go left, and Curran crosses, but replays show he lost the ball before forcing it for a try. Great start, but no cigar.
Second minute - Cowboys over halfway and Hampton puts the high kick to Maumalo, who rises high to take it.
Kosi has his first run as a Warrior and they get a set restart. Murdoch Masila rumbles down the right touchline.
First minute - Two teams playing off for seventh spot - and a place in the playoff eight - on the NRL table.
Cowboys kick off and Evans has the first hit-up. Walsh puts in his first kick of the day at the end of the set.
3:35pm - The fans are turning up at Mt Smart to view the game on a big screen. They've been deprived of games for almost two years now, but they're itching for the return of their team at some point this season... hopefully.
3:25pm - Late change for the Warriors sees David Fusitu'a drop out of the playing line-up for the second time in consecutive weeks, replaced by winger Edward Kosi, who represented the club at the NRL Nines last year.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the NZ Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys NRL clash at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford.
After throwing teenage rookie Reece Walsh into the fire for his debut at fullback against Melbourne Storm, coach Nathan Brown has made an even bolder move, shifting the would-be fullback into the halves against the Cowboys.
Walsh certainly impressed first up and showed the spark that has been missing from the predictable Warriors attack this season.
Several of those injured out of last week's contest have returned, notably concussed forward Tohu Harris and hamstring winger David Fusitu'a.
Second-rower Josh Curran has successfully argued his way out of suspension for a high-ish tackle on Storm winger George Jennings, which saw Jennings concussed out of the game and Curran sin-binned at the time.
For the Cowboys, powerful lock Jason Taumalolo returns from a hand injury that has kept him sidelined since the second week of the season.
Remember, the captain was called out by Payten for his sloppy defensive effort in the season-opener, so all eyes will be on the former NZ Kiwi, now Tongan international for his long-awaited reaction.
After four losses to start their campaign, North Queensland have won their last three against Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders, despite losing veteran half Michael Morgan to injury-enforced retirement and forward Josh McGuire to St George Dragons.
Payten is slowly whipping his team into shape and a fired-up Taumalolo spells danger for the Warriors.
Warriors: 1-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2-David Fusitu'a, 3-Adam Pompey, 4-Rocco Berry, 5-Ken Maumalo, 6-Reece Walsh, 7-Kodi Nikorima, 8-Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9-Wayde Egan, 10-Kane Evans, 11-Josh Curran, 12-Ben Murdoch-Masila, 13-Tohu Harris
Interchange: 14-Jazz Tevaga, 15-Leeson Ah Mau, 16-Bunty Afoa, 17-Bayley Sironen
Cowboys: 1-Valentine Holmes, 2-Kyle Feldt, 3-Justin O'Neill, 4-Connelly Lemuelu, 5-Murray Taulagi, 6-Scott Drinkwater, 7-Ben Hampton, 8-Coen Hess, 9-Reece Robson, 10-Jordan McLean, 11-Shane Wright, 12-Ben Condon, 13-Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14-Jake Glanville, 15-Lachlan Burr, 16-Francis Molo, 17-Corey Jensen
TAB odds: Warriors $1.61, Cowboys $2.28
Warriors coach raves over 'talented' teen Walsh
NZ Warriors coach Nathan Brown has hailed the impact of teen sensation Reece Walsh, after his NRL debut in Sunday's 42-20 loss to Melbourne Storm.
Walsh, 18, was thrust into the Warriors side for the traditional ANZAC Day encounter in Melbourne, playing at fullback in place of club captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Any doubts over risking Walsh in such a key position at such a young age were very quickly brushed aside, with the teenager showing why he's one of the most-hyped Warriors signings in recent years.
Of the Warriors' four tries, Reece assisted two of them - including a kick to put winger Ken Maumalo through for a hat-trick.
Walsh also ran 98 metres, made a linebreak assist and two tackles, and threw two offloads, and while he wasn't perfect, he showed enough for Warriors fans to be positive about the future.
The performance will no doubt see Walsh in line for a greater taste of the NRL in 2021, after he was expected to play understudy to Tuivasa-Sheck for the rest of the year, before the Warriors captain returns to rugby union in 2022.
"We could see Reece's talent there today," Brown said afterwards. "He's obviously a very talented kid and he's got speed.
"He's got a lot of work to do on his game obviously and he's only young, but any player who has [two] try assists against Melbourne Storm is good, let alone on debut, when you're 18.
"He's a good, young kid, and he's been well raised by his mum and dad. He's got a bit of confidence about him, but he's a respectful kid.
"It's quite obvious that he's got a lot of talent. He's got a long way to go in his game, but it's quite clear he's a player we'll all probably see a fair bit of."
Walsh will be in line to star for the Warriors again, when they take on North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday.