A stunning late second half burst has seen the New Zealand Warriors blow an error-riddled Parramatta Eels off the park with a 35-6 win at Mount Smart Stadium.
The match was in the balance, at 12-6 to the home side after 60 minutes, before the Warriors piled on four unanswered tries in the final quarter of the contest.
Parramatta were humbled - coincidentally none moreso than rookie fullback Tom Humble, who struggled against a barrage of deftly placed kicks and ravenous defence - and were their own worst enemy with countless mistakes. Take nothing away from New Zealand though, who produced arguably their most complete performance of the season.
The Warriors opened the scoring with a fortuitous try to backrower-cum-centre Lewis Brown, who pounced on a lucky ricochet off an Isaac John grubber.
But the Eels hit back with a stunning 80 metre effort. It started with an offload from Feleti Mateo, before a Krisnan Inu chip kick eventually found its way into the hands of Humble.
The remainder of the first half was a cagey affair until New Zealand forward Ben Matulino broke the deadlock in the the 36th minute when he stepped his way to the try line.
Coming out of the shed leading 12-6, the Auckland based-side took some time to fully find their groove but when they did, the Eels had no answers.
The carnage started in the 61st minute when a rampaging Ukuma Ta'ai steamrolled over out wide, before Manu Vatuvei stole a try with a one-on-one steal on Krisnan Inu from marker in the 69th minute.
Halfback James Maloney then capitalised on a break from elusive fullback Jerome Ropati, who was awarded League Unlimited's Man of the Match Award, to put his name on the try scorers list. In the dying stages, Brown grabbed his double off yet another long range movement. John then slotted a field goal on the stroke of fulltime to put the icining on a very sweet cake.
The win puts the Warriors into eighth spot, while the Eels are now four points adrift of finals footy - they can't rely on a miraculous late season surge happening two years in row.
New Zealand Warriors 35 defeated Parramatta Eels 6
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 17 - Sunday July 4, 2010 2:00pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Ashley Klein
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Henry Perenara
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 12 Parramatta Eels 6
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (35)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, James Maloney, Ukuma Ta'ai, Lewis Brown (2)
Field Goals: Isaac John (1/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (4/6)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/2)
PARRAMATTA EELS (6)
Tries: Tom Humble
Conversions: Luke Burt (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon's coverage of the clash between New Zealand and Parramatta. The Warriors had a big 40-6 win in the Under 20s competition and will be looking to continue that sort of form against the Eels in the top grade.
The visitors, of course, are without Jarryd Hayne with youngster Tom Humble lining up at fullback.
1 min: Kick off! Warriors get the ball on a gloomy day in Auckland.
3 min: James Maloney grubbers in the goal but it just runs dead - Eels with the 20 metre tap.
6 min: An error from Nathan Hindmarsh in slippery conditions after a solid tackle.
7 min: TRY
Warriors open the scoring! Playmaker Isaac John gets a grubber kick away and it finds a lucky rebound into the arms of Lewis Brown, who touches down. Maloney converts.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
11 min: Hindmarsh comes up with another clanger! Two errors in the opening exchanges - Parramatta looking lethargic at the moment.
13 min: Wright nearly comes up with an intercept but knocks on - Warriors get another set on the Eels line.
14 min: Simon Mannering with a strong surge for the line but he's held up.
15 min: TRY
Stunning try against the run of play from Parramatta! Feleti Mateo comes up with an offload, before a chip over the top finds its way back into the arms of fullback Tom Humble. Luke Burt converts.
20 min: That try has really given some spark to the Eels, as Mateo dummies but is wrapped up.
22 min: Dan Mortimer attempts a 40/20 but it's well cleaned up by Jerome Ropati.
24 min: Manu Vatuvei takes a well weighted Eels grubber dead - goal line dropout. Parramatta doing the bulk of the defence in the opening quarter.
26 min: Nathan Hindmarsh makes another blue, offloading forward.
29 min: Penalty against the Warriors for accidental offside.
30 min: Video referee - possible Eels try..
32 min: No Try - Parramatta ruled to have knocked on in the contest for a high kick, fair call.
35 min: John Wright fumbles for the Eels, the Warriors get a scrum feed on the attack, 20 metres out from the line.
36 min: TRY
Nice cutout pass from Ian Henderson finds Ben Matulino, who puts on a big right foot step to outfox some pretty ordinary defence and score. James Maloney converts.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
39 min: Warriors winger Bill Tupou with a confident take under pressure on his own line.
Halftime: It's been a tight affair under lights at Mount Smart Stadium, the Warriors have capitalised on their opportunities while the Eels four pointer was a stunning 80 metre effort. As the cliche goes, still anyone's game in the second half.
41 min: Warriors get the second half underway as the rain continues to fall.
43 min: A few errors from both sides after the break, as the Warriors go on the attack.
47 min: Eels work the ball off their own line after an errant New Zealand pass found the opposition.
48 min: PENALTY GOAL ATTEMPT
Warriors get a penalty for Parramatta hands on the ball - James Maloney takes the shot at goal but misses from 38 metres out.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
50 min: Jerome Ropati breaks the line but can't find support, Latimore drops the ball a few tackles later - Parramatta hold on.
52 min: Manu Vatuvei stays down with what looks like a leg injury, he's been a bit out of sorts today.
55 min: Yet another Eels error give the Kiwis a chance hot on the attack again.
58 min: A short ball from Maloney to Simon Mannering is put down and the Eels survive after consecutive sets in defence.
60 min: Tom Humble gets trapped in the ingoal and throws a pass but it doesn't find the mark and luckily for him rolls dead. Shades of Justin Hodges on his Origin debut there..
61 min: TRY
The Warriors finally turn pressure into points with a rampaging Ukuma Ta'ai showing too much strength out wide. James Maloney misses the conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 16-6
66 min: PENALTY GOAL
New Zealand get a penalty and elect to take the two. James Maloney makes no mistake to stretch the lead to twelve.
New Zealand Warriors 18-6
69 min: Video referee - possible Warriors try.. all action from Mount Smart at the moment!
69 min: TRY
Krisnan Inu picks up the ball at dummy half, before being pick-pocketed by Manu Vatuvei at marker! The big winger steals the ball one-on-one and rolls over out wide. James Maloney converts.
New Zealand Warriors 24-6
74 min: TRY
The Warriors are in again! Jerome Ropati takes on some tired Parramatta forwards up the middle and some fancy footwork sees him break the line, before he finds James Maloney in support. James Maloney converts.
New Zealand Warriors 30-6
76 min: Great stuff late in the match from New Zealand - this is a throwback to their glory days of the early 2000s.
77 min: Video referee - possible try to the Warriors..
77 min: TRY
More razzle dazzle from New Zealand. Playing out in the centres today, Lewis Brown grabs his double from a long range movement which included a chip kick. James Maloney fails to convert.
New Zealand Warriors 34-6
79 min: Eels fullback Tom Humble get pinned in the ingoal and the Warriors have one last chance to cross again.
79 min: FIELD GOAL
Five-eighth Isaac John goes for the one point and it only just sneaks over, touching the cross bar in the process.
New Zealand Warriors 35-6
Fulltime: Wow! A stunning late surge has seen the Warriors demolish a disappointing Eels 35-6. Too much power and footwork in attack against a tiring defence.