Warriors keep NRL finals dream alive by beating Newcastle in Tamworth

The Warriors have convincingly defeated Newcastle 36-6 in Tamworth to edge closer to an unlikely place in the NRL top eight.

The Warriors returned to Scully Park in the north-west New South Wales regional city that adopted the team when they first arrived back in Australia to restart the NRL competition.

With a sign at the ground saying “Welcome home Tamworth Warriors”, the New Zealanders — who wear the town’s post code on their jerseys — embraced the love of 2,000 local supporters in their Saturday afternoon clash.

Running in five tries to one, the Warriors’ win ended a three-match winning streak for the Knights.

They move up to ninth place on the ladder, just two points outside the top eight.

Warriors winger Adam Pompey scored a try in each half, with centre Peta Hika managing a backhand flick pass on both occasions to set up the four-pointer.

Pompey opened the scoring in sixth minute before the Warriors got out to an 8-0 lead when Chanel Harris-Tavita booted a penalty after a high tackle by Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

Newcastle closed the margin to 6-8 by half-time when centre Gehamat Shibasaki won the leap for a Mitchell Pearce bomb but there was little else to celebrate for the injury-hit Knights.

They were outclassed in the second half by the Warriors, whose completion rate was at an impressive 87 per cent for the match.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck left Pearce clutching at thin air when he stepped around him in the 50th minute, before adding a second try in the 73rd minute.

They capped the win as the clock wound down with Jazz Tevaga crossing for their fifth and final try.