Hammer error the 'turning point' in Warriors comeback

Hammer error the ‘turning point’ in Warriors comeback

The Warriors surged to claim their second-straight victory after a Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow error gifted the home side prime territory to pile on the points.

After struggling to break outside of their own half, a bomb kick by the Warriors rattled Tabuai-Fidow who grassed the ball just outside of the Dolphins 20.

The home side heroes were quick to sweep up the ball as they were awarded back-to-back sets after a Dolphins hand grazed the ball on the last tackle.

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Despite the Dolphins dominating in attack and possession in the first half, the error proved to be a costly moment that ignited the beginning of the Warriors’ resurgence in the game.

A play of the ball to the right side found the hands of star winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, who charged over the line and put the Warriors in front for the first time in the game.

“What a turning point in the game,” Phil Gould said in commentary on Nine.

“The Warriors were struggling to get out of trouble. They were forced to kick from deep inside their own territory. 

“Dolphins came up with a mistake from kick reception and the Warriors have sprung to life. Dolphins were panicking in defence, they weren’t getting up quickly off their line.  

“That was just will. That was just want. He’s like ‘Get out of my way,’ and bang. He’s dug his way in and got the ball down in goal.”

The visitors started strong across the ditch, with Jamayne Isaako and Herbie Farnworth powering over the line in the opening 15 minutes.

Chanel Harris-Tavita’s try in the 20th minute pushed the home side back into the contest, but it was not long before Tabuai-Fidow charged over to extend the lead Dolphins back to 12.

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The second half marked the beginning of the Dolphins descent, with a Watene-Zelezniak game-saver and Marata Niukore’s try sealing the 24-20 win.

“If they go on to make the semis this year, the Warriors, they will look back at these past two victories as some of the most important of the year,” Andrew Johns said on Nine.

“What an amazing win. Full of spirit and character. Down on troops and they never gave up at any stage,” Gould replied.

Nine’s Peter Psaltis said: “This will be one of the most famous victories in the Warriors history.”

Head coach Andrew Webster attributed the win to the team’s newfound enthusiasm and determination during this weeks training.

“If you had seen our dressing room before the game you would have known that was not a fluke tonight,” Webster said post-game.

“There was an unbelievable energy… no one was moping around. When they all entered the ground you could tell they were all excited to play alongside each other.

“We knew we had to focus on a few things. It felt like we had to defend for long periods but I felt like we did go after them at the right times. I felt like we believed in our attack – our attack was not perfect but we found a way to score tries.

“A lot of individuals played their best games but they also made sure they did it together. And if you can do that, you become hard to beat. 

“We just said ‘If we do this, we will win tonight’… and we did. They beat a top-four side so I’m really proud of them.”

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