Warriors beat Knights to end NRL drought

The Warriors have ended their lengthy NRL drought, an improved second-half display carrying them to a 40-18 win over Newcastle in Auckland.

The Easter Monday victory was their first of the season and snapped a club record-equalling 11-match losing streak going back to July.

It came after an error-punctuated opening spell, when their attack stuttered.

They were also twice denied by the bunker, once for a tight knock-on call and another for obstruction.

But coming out at 12-12 for the second spell, the Warriors lifted their intensity in defence.

Their execution also improved and they swung the momentum firmly their way with three tries in the first 12 minutes of the half, as centre Blake Ayshford, and wingers Tuimoala Lolohea and Manu Vatuvei finished off some expansive play.

Five-eighth Shaun Johnson showed glimpses of his footwork of old to touch down, before Issac Luke got the Warriors’ seventh try with a darting run from dummy half.

Newcastle did get the last say through winger Nathan Ross’s late consolation effort.

The result meant the Knights remain winless this season, their single point coming from a draw with Canberra.

They were behind on the scoreboard early as the Warriors raced out of the blocks, centre Solomone Kata dotting down after being set up by fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s hit-and-spin linebreak.

Tuivasa-Sheck was among the Warriors’ best and was a constant threat with ball in hand.

The Knights struck back twice, first through lock Sam Mataora, who busted some weak defence.

When Warriors halfback Jeff Robson dropped the ball in his own half, the visitors took advantage by sending fullback Dane Gagai over.

The home side tied up the contest in the shadow of halftime when prop Ben Matulino powered past two defenders for a converted try.

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