NRL: New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers, Canberra Raiders victorious

Recap Saturday’s NRL action as the New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers, and Canberra Raiders beat St George, Cronulla Sharks, and Melbourne Storm.

New Zealand Warriors 18-0 St. George Illawarra Dragons

Impressive stints from a pair of rookie Warriors helped New Zealand down a disappointing Dragons outfit 18-0 at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday

The two winless teams were desperate to get on the board but it was the Warriors who looked far more desperate and in an injury-ravaged forward pack it was budding stars Eliesa Katoa and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown who set the early running with their physicality and each were rewarded with first-half tries.

A rib injury that forced center Peta Hiku out of the game in the first half was the only sour note for Steve Kearney’s men, who have sacrificed more than most to uproot themselves from their homes and families to base themselves in Australia.

They were boosted by a stunning 100 percent completion rate through the first 75 minutes of the game, completing their first 44 sets before club debutant Jack Murchie was deemed to have lost the ball in a tackle.

While their completions were near-perfect, and even more important stat-line for Steve Kearney would be one that was perfect – the zero points conceded.

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16-28 Wests Tigers

The Wests Tigers inflicted more pain on Cronulla after their torrid week by storming home to register a 28-16 win at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

After trailing by six at half-time, Michael Maguire’s men held the Sharks scoreless in the second stanza to collect their second victory in three rounds.

Cronulla was valiant given the distraction that Bronson Xerri’s shock provisional suspension for failing an ASADA drug test would have had in the lead-up to the match.

Veteran center Josh Dugan stepped up in Xerri’s place, scoring two tries in his return from a knee injury that had some questioning his future in the pre-season.

A soft try to David Nofoaluma when the scores were level with 17 minutes remaining broke Cronulla’s back. Collecting a drop-out, the winger burst through flimsy tackle attempts from Chad Townsend and Dugan to complete a 40-meter try.

Melbourne Storm 6-22 Canberra Raiders

The Canberra Raiders continued their recent dominance of Melbourne with a classy 22-6 win at AAMI Park on Saturday.Having taken the points at AAMI Park twice last year – in Round 22 and week one of the finals – the Green Machine have now won three straight at the Storm’s home ground.

The star of the show was Englishman George Williams, who ran amok in the first half as he set up tries for Nick Cotric and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

In just his third NRL game, the former Wigan playmaker tormented the Storm defence with his running game and was also strong in defence.

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