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Warriors 6 Newcastle 10
Warriors - Aitken try; Walsh conversion
Newcastle - Fitzgibbon & Jones tries; Clifford penalty
40th minute - Knights keep the ball in hand inside the last minute, but Klemmer loses the ball. Brailey immediately challenges the call, just to kill momentum, and replays show O'Sullivan had a hand in the play.
Knights have a penalty and take the tap. Barnett takes the tackle and Newcastle hold on in the lowest-scoring match of the NRL season.
Warriors really butchered their chances there, but conditions were tough.
39th minute - Knights feed the scrum and go right. They win a penalty for a high tackle from Murdoch-Masila, who heads to the sin bin.
38th minute - Watson crosses halfway for Newcastle, who only need to control the ball now.
Pearce kicks high, RTS can't catch it under pressure, so Knights get a scrum feed on attack.
37th minute - Walsh's kick is held up in the wind and RTS can't gather it.
36th minute - Try to Jones
Klemmer makes halfway and Tuala splits the defence. Watson is brought down, but when the ball goes left, Fitzgibbon puts Jones over.
Clifford can't bring his sideline conversion around far enough, NEW 10-6
35th minute - Walsh takes another pot at goal and it sprays left. He's kicking into the strong wind, remember.
34th minute - Fonua-Blake crosses halfway. Walsh takes a kick at goal, but it's charged down.
Warriors get a set restart.
33rd minute - Katoa's kick is trapped by the Knights, no result.
Pearce kicks early and Walsh brings it back.
32nd minute - Jacob Saifiti is pinged for a high shot and it's being reviewed. He's on report.
Time running on the Warriors now, they need to take advantage of their chances. They cross halfway.
31st minute - Jacob Saifiti goes close and Clifford's limp kick is gathered by Murdoch-Masila.
30th minute - Warriors defence holds on, but Walsh has to knock Clifford's kick dead.
Knights again attacking off the dropout.
29th minute - Great position for Newcastle and a restart.
28th minute - On the last tackle, O'Sullivan's kick has no chasers - easy for the Knights.
Clifford kicks early and long. Walsh makes a mess of it and puts a foot on the sideline.
27th minute - Fonua-Blake funs the kick back and Murdoch-Masila is next.
26th minute - Nikorima kicks to goal-line and Watson is forced knock the ball dead for a dropout.
25th minute - Knights cross halfway, but Jacob Saifiti spills a pass to let the Warriors off the hook.
Murdoch-Masila makes halfway.
24th minute - Walsh spills the ball in a tackle, Knights defensive scrum.
Barnett reaches halfway.
23rd minute - Nikorima kicks to the posts and it bounces back into play. Barnett gathers, but he slides over the line for a dropout. The dropout goes long and Warriors are forced to return from their own half.
22nd minute - Warriors have the ball deep in Knights half.
21st minute - Knights cross halfway after an injury break. Brailey and Watson threaten, Barnett is tackled just short of the line.
Pearce kicks behind the line and it's too strong. Warriors get a penalty at the restart.
20th minute - Katoa is limping around out there, as Fonua-Blake crosses halfway and loses the ball.
19th minute - Knights pinned deep in their own half and Pearce kicks from his own 30. Montoya runs the ball back.
18th minute - Ah Mau makes halfway and O'Sullivans kick is gathered by Mann.
17th minute - Warriors' line dropout is short and bounces to Jones in touch, so they get the ball back.
16th minute - On the last tackle, Clifford kicks over the dead-ball line, but it bounces off RTS, so Warriors will drop out.
Tuivasa-Sheck claims he was pushed into the ball, but the challenge is not upheld.
15th minute - From a midfield scrum. Knights are on attack.
14th minute - Fitzgibbon crosses halfway, Clifford kicks high and Walsh lets it bounce over the dead-ball line.
Warriors get a seven-tackle set, but RTS can't gather a Nikorima pass.
13th minute - Young controls the Warriors kickoff.
12th minute - RTS is penalised for offside and Clifford lines up the shot at goal from in front. He slots it to level scores 6-6.
11th minute - Barnett makes good metres and Klemmer crosses halfway. Clifford kicks high and Walsh spills the ball forward - RTS picks it up in an offside position.
10th minute - Fonua-Blake rumbles towards halfway. Mann catches a high ball on his own line.
Ninth minute - Warriors trying to keep the Knights pinned deep, but they kick early and the Walsh tries to return the ball. He's hit high by Klemmer, who goes on report.
Eighth minute - O'Sullivan kicks towards the posts, the ball holds up and Walsh catches, but he falls short and the set ends.
Seventh minute - Walsh is the first runner off the scrum, but play is called up for Daniel Saifiti to leave for an HIA.
Warriors go right and Katoa goes close.
Sixth minute - The wind gives the Warriors two stabs at a kick and Mann spills the second, so Warriors have a scrum in the shadow of the posts.
Fifth minute - Evans crosses halfway and offloads.
Fourth minute - Knights bring the ball upfield, but still can't make halfway. Clifford kicks high and no-one wants a bar of it - it bounces, Pearce collects the ball and is tackled to end the set.
Third minute - Katoa finds a big gap up the middle and is tackled by the last defender, but O'Sullivan dies with the ball. Another wasted opportunity and here comes Fitzgibbon back on the field.
Second minute - Knights kick from their own half, Pearce goes high and RTS gathers the bouncing ball.
First minute - The weather has really packed up at Newcastle and the Warriors kickoff holds up big time - they get it back. Newcastle still a man short.
Tevaga kicks on the last tackle, but not a great finish to that set.
The Warriors probably haven't done enough with the big wind at their backs in the first half and must now defend doggedly to keep their lead over the second 40 minutes.
40th minute - Nikorima probes, but the service to Montoya is sloppy and he's herded over the sideline.
39th minute - Warriors get a set restart early in the count. Harris sets Ah Mau on a rumble and Warriors get another restart.
38th minute - Warriors haven't taken advantage of Fitzgibbons' absence. Jones crosses halfway for the Knights, Daniel Saifiti makes good metres and Katoa takes a high bomb in the wind.
37th minute - Walsh kicks early from inside the 40, but barely misses the 20.
36th minute - Knights making good ground towards halfway and beyond. Pearce kicks high and then Clifford is forced to kick again, as the wind blows it back.
35th minute - O'Sullivan's early kick is weak and the Knights survive. They get another set restart.
34th minute - Nikorima juggles a pass and is cleaned out by Fitzgibbon. Replay shows contact to the head with his knee and Fitzgibbon is sin-binned for a high tackle, although Nikorima was falling.
Walsh's pass is behind Montoya, but he gathers it to keep the movement going.
33rd minute - Clifford kicks from his 40 and Montoya eventually recovers the bouncing ball. Knights are offside, so Warriors will get good attacking position.
32nd minute - Warriors need to keep the Knights in their half from the kickoff.
30th minute - Clifford goes close to scoring and Warriors are penalised for offside.
Try to Fitzgibbon
Knights move the ball left and Pearce finds his forward running a great line, spinning away from Katoa and Otukolo. Clifford sprays his conversion attempt from a handy angle, WAR 6-4
29th minute - Clifford kicks behind the line and Warriors will have to drop out again.
Klemmer charges upfield from the kick and they are starting to dominate territory into the wind.
28th minute - Ninth straight game that the Knights have conceded the first try.
27th minute - Tevaga has passed his HIA and replaces Curran.
Warriors make a mess of the kickoff and Ah Mau is tackled behind his own line for a dropout.
25th minute - Try to Aitken
Knights build an attack to the left, but Mann spills the ball and Aitken gathers, racing 90m and beating a couple of would-be tacklers to score.
Walsh lines up the conversion - his first attempt in the NRL - presumably because Nikorima is still struggling. He slots it - is there nothing he can't do? WAR 6-0
24th minute - Montoya hits Mann with a good tackle as the attack builds. Clifford kicks to the goal area, but RTS seems to force the ball.
Reviews confirm that, so Warriors dropout. Nikorima getting his ankle strapped again.
Mann barely gathers the dropout.
23rd minute - Walsh's problem is a knee, but he stays out there. Knights attack off a scrum.
22nd minute - Daniel Saifiti goes close to scoring, but offloads on the line and Knights die with the ball. Let-off for the Warriors, but Sironen spills the ball.
21st minute - Knights are on attack and earn a set restart, good pressure here.
20th minute - O'Sullivan spies a gap, but is ankle-tapped as he shoots through. Knights win a penalty.
19th minute - Nikorima and Walsh are both hobbling around. Knights venture into Warriors half.
Pearce kicks and RTS clears his line.
18th minute - Pompey crosses halfway and Walsh makes a break down the right. Nikorima's kick is weak.
17th minute - Knights struggling to get out of their territory again. Clifford kicks along the ground again and RTS brings it back.
15th minute - Walsh is receiving medical attention, as the Warriors try to find a try. RTS's last pass to Aitken goes loose, but is forward anyway.
14th minute - Knights have to run the ball from their own line again, Warriors winning the position contest.
Clifford kicks and Walsh eventually gathers, before making a long run to within metres of the goal-line. He's eventually tackled by Brailey.
13th minute - Tevaga received a knock in a tackle and Otukolo comes off the bench for his debut.
12th minute - Walsh kicks early again and it dribbles to the Knights goal-line.
Knights fail to reach halfway on the last tackle and Clifford kicks long to Walsh.
11th minute - Set restart to the Knights 10m out from the line, but they spill the ball early in the count. It's Fitzgibbon again.
Warriors try to clear their own line from a scrum.
10th minute - Knights kick into Warriors half and mount an attack.
Ninth minute - Nikorima kicks early from his 40 and Mann runs the ball from his own goal area. Warriors are pinged for a high tackle.
Eighth minute - Knights cross halfway and Pearce kicks high to Walsh, who has to chase it in the wind.
Seventh minute - Nikorima kicks high from his own 40 and the wind takes it to the Knights tryline.
Sixth minute - Daniel Saifiti makes good metres into Warriors half. Clifford stabs a kick towards the line, but Walsh tidies up.
Fifth minute - Confirmation the horizontal rain is at the Warriors' backs. O'Sullivan crosses halfway, but Nikorima dies with the ball.
Fourth minute - Knights spread the ball left, but RTS wraps up Jones. Clifford kicks through, but it bounces off a Warriors player and they get a clearing penalty.
Third minute - Warriors scrum, but Walsh spills the first pass. Sue crosses halfway for the Knights and the Warriors are penalised for a dangerous tackle.
Second minute - Good Warriors defence keeps the Knights in their own half and Fitzgibbon spills the ball on his own 40.
First minute: Jake Clifford kicks off for Newcastle into the breeze and Walsh is underneath.
Tevaga crosses halfway and Nikorima kicks high. RTS chases, but Clifford gathers the loose ball.
4:52pm - Weather is terrible in Newcastle, where a weather warning is in place. Heavy rain and wind is expected during the game.
4:44pm - Some late changes to both sides as they were named...
Warriors have dropped Bunty Afoa from the interchange and brought in teenage hooker Taniela Otukolo for a possible debut off the bench.
For the Knights, Kurt Mann moves to fullback and Brodie Jones from the forwards into the centres. Sauaso Sue is promoted from the bench to the starting pack, with Josh King onto the interchange.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the NZ Warriors v Newcastle Knights NRL clash from Newcastle.
After their thrashing from Melbourne Storm last week and a heartbreaking late loss to North Queensland before that, the Warriors desperately need a win here to keep their playoff hopes alive.
They were within a handful of minutes of victory over the Knights in March, before Auckland-born Hymel Hunt scored a late try, converted by Mitch Barnett, to steal away the two competition points - one of those results that could come back to bite them at the end of the season.
The Warriors currently sit in 11th on the ladder, but just two points outside the top eight. A win tonight would put them back in the mix, based on points differential.
Newcastle are in a similar predicament, losing four of their last five games to sit two points adrift of the Warriors.
They have been rocked by injuries this season and will again miss superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga, but have half Mitchell Pearce back from injury and veteran forward David Klemmer from suspension.
The Warriors have Reece Walsh back from suspension, but have lost hooker Wayde Egan and half Chanel Harris-Tavita to injury, so their spine takes on a new look, with Jazz Tevaga and Sean O'Sullivan promoted to the playing line-up.
Warriors: 1-Reece Walsh, 2-Marcelo Montoya, 4-Euan Aitken, 21-Adam Pompey, 5-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 6-Kodi Nikorima, 7-Sean O'sullivan, 8-Addin Fonua-Blake, 9-Jazz Tevaga, 10-Ben Murdoch-Masila, 11-Bayley Sironen, 12-Tohu Harris, 13-Josh Curran
Interchange: 14-Eliesa Katoa, 15-Leeson Ah Mau, 16-Bunty Afoa, 17-Kane Evans
Knights: 21-Tex Hoy, 2-Dominic Young, 3-Kurt Mann, 4-Enari Tuala, 5-Hymel Hunt, 6-Jake Clifford, 7-Mitchell Pearce, 8-Jacob Saifiti, 9-Jayden Brailey, 10-Daniel Saifiti, 11-Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12-Brodie Jones, 13-Mitchell Barnett
Interchange: 14-Connor Watson, 15-David Klemmer, 16-Sauaso Sue, 17-Jack Johns
TAB Odds: NZ Warriors $1.87, Newcastle Knights $1.87
Warriors seek consistency with NRL playoff hopes on line
By their own admission, it's crunch time for NZ Warriors.
"The reality is, we can't slip up, we can't afford to lose many more games," insists barnstorming prop Bunty Afoa.
And with the competition finely poised, he's right. Several teams are in the running to nab a space in the top eight, including the Warriors.
What makes this time of the season so exciting for fans is they face three of their closest rivals in the next three rounds, starting tonight against Newcastle Knights, who are two points behind the boys from Mt Smart.
Newcastle edged the Warriors 20-16 in round two and coach Nathan Brown may feel his side should have won that one, as they were arguably the better team, just slow out the blocks.
The Knights are there for the taking tonight too.
No Kayln Ponga, prop David Klemmer is coming off the bench, as he returns from injury, while Bradman Best is also out.
When they fire up and play without fear, we've seen the Warriors can challenge anyone in the competition.
"It took until the last 20 minutes [against the Storm] for us to start throwing the ball around and we scored three tries in the end," says forward Bailey Sironen, who finished the game in the halves, after Chanel Harris-Tavita's pec injury.
"The positive is we know we have it in us. We have been completing [sets] pretty decently, but where we finish our sets is another thing we need to work on.
"We need to make it harder for teams to come out of their end."
Before their loss to the Storm, assistant coach Justin Morgan said that belief was key to the way they play and particularly how they delt with losing momentum during games.
The belief they can win, play well and go out and express themselves - that’s when they're at their best.
Consistency will also be key to the rest of the season.
They've been forced to make changes again this week, with Harris-Tavita likely out for 12 weeks and hooker Wayde Egan suffering nasty concussion last week. That makes their clash with the Knights even more important.
A good win this week would give the coaches confidence they can pick the same side again and the team confidence they can win without key players.
"It's been a little bit difficult, so where we can over the next while, we'll certainly be looking to get some continuity in our selections," Morgan says. "It feels like, the past couple of months, we've been trying to find 17 fit players.
"Teams only get better when they practice and play together for longer periods of time. This year, Euan [Aitken] hass played on the left and the right, we’ve had different wingers."
Sean O'Sullivan comes back into the halves, after getting game time with Redcliffe Dolphins. With Harris-Tavita out, plenty of responsibility falls to him. That said, he proved more than capable of handling himself in the few games he played earlier in the season.
Centre Aitken looks better by the week after his return from injury and prop Addin Fonua-Blake is bound to be the same.
So have faith, Warriors fans. Sit back and enjoy what could prove to be the death or the resurrection of their season.
They can afford another defeat or two this year - just, please, not tonight.