The Warriors have convincingly defeated Newcastle 36-6 in Tamworth to edge closer to an unlikely place in the NRL top eight.
- The Warriors are ninth on the ladder following the win over the Knights
- The New Zealanders scored five tries to one in the 30-point triumph
- The Warriors were based in Tamworth earlier in the year following the New Zealand border closure
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.