NRL: NZ Warriors great Stacey Jones masterminded Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Shaun Johnson miracle try in win over Canberra Raiders

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak's miracle try in NZ Warriors 36-14 victory over Canberra Raiders was masterminded by club great Stacey Jones, coach Andrew Webster revealed.

On Friday, with the Warriors 0-6 down away to the Raiders in Canberra, a pinpoint kick from Shaun Johnson was latched onto by a flying Watene-Zelezniak - who somehow managed to ground the ball and stay in touch.

From there, the play kept the Warriors in the contest, who rallied from 8-6 down at halftime to score five tries and 30 points in the second spell before the Raiders could reply.

Shaun Johnson, Ali Leiataua and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak celebrate against Canberra Raiders.
Shaun Johnson, Ali Leiataua and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak celebrate against Canberra Raiders. Photo credit: Photosport

For Watene-Zelezniak, the score was his eighth try in as many games this season, coming back into the side after missing the start of the Warriors' campaign through injury.

While Friday's effort wasn't the first time Johnson and Watene-Zelezniak have combined this season, it was - by far - the most spectacular.

And fronting media after his side's win, Warriors coach Webster outlined that effort in training between the pair and assistant coach Jones was behind the try coming off.

"That's Stacey Jones, Shaun Johnson and Dal [Watene-Zelezniak]," said Webster. "Those three have worked hard on that, all the time.

"It's no secret. There's three different options on that play, and they've just been practicing and practicing it.

"I'm really happy for them, they deserve all the credit there on that one. When you see people practice that much, you're proud for them when it comes off.

"All the credit to them for that one."

Across two stints for the Warriors, Jones played 261 games for the Warriors, scoring 674 points and finished his career as the club's record point-scorer before that record was surpassed by Johnson in 2017.

Friday's victory briefly saw the Warriors rise to fifth on the NRL ladder, before dropping to sixth after Melbourne Storm's 54-10 win over Cronulla Sharks on Sunday night.

The Kiwi side will enjoy a bye week and two more competition points, before returning to action against St George Illawarra Dragons in Sydney on June 23.