The Warriors have timed their run impeccably to win a seesawing NRL match 24-20 against Canterbury at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The Bulldogs looked in control in taking a 14-8 lead into halftime but tries to Jonathan Wright and Tuimoala Lolohea early in the second spell turned the game around for the Warriors.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said the resolve his team showed was pleasing, particularly given the loss of fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck with a knee injury barely 15 minutes into the first half.
“We had to face a bit of adversity after we lost Roger pretty early in the game and had to do a big reshuffle,” he said.
“It certainly tests your character to be able to do that, and I don’t think we’ve had too many games here where we’ve come from behind, particularly against a quality side like the Bulldogs.
“The way we stuck at it, we were patient and took our opportunities when we got them, and we were desperate defensively right at the end there.”
The extent of Tuivasa-Sheck’s injury was unclear, with the Kiwi fullback expected to undergo scans on Monday.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler was left disappointed at the result, saying his team just didn’t manage the game well enough.
“They just had large, large pieces of possession at the start of both halves – I think in the first 20, it was about 70 per cent and on the back of the penalty count, they got away to a flyer,” Hasler said.
“I think the game was there for the taking, I think we had the game well within our grasp, and we’re pretty disappointed we let this game slip away.”
Tries to David Fusitua and Blake Ayshford in the opening 15 minutes gave the Warriors a useful 8-0 lead before Canterbury hit back with a brace to 21-Test Kiwi Sam Perrett within the space of four minutes.
Ahead 10-8 after half an hour, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 14-8 right on halftime. sharp work from Perrett down the right putting Kerrod Holland over.
The Warriors came out firing in the second stanza, tries to Wright, Lolohea and Ayshford giving them a 24-14 lead with five minutes remaining.
But Holland’s second try of the night in the 75th minute tested their resolve right to the final whistle.