Warriors cough up 18-6 lead

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The Warriors have suffered a late meltdown to slump to their fourth straight defeat in the NRL.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

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They have coughed up a 18-6 lead with less than a quarter of an hour to play to lose 19-18 to the St George Illawarra Dragons in golden point extra time at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.

Dragons five-eighth Corey Norman kicked the game-winning field goal in the 88th minute after he had missed three conversions in the final 10 minutes, including hitting the post with time up on the clock.

The result leaves the Warriors 11th on the ladder, but they are now four points behind seventh-placed St George Illawarra in the congested middle of the table.

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Warriors coach Nathan Brown is disappointed his side has let another lead slip.

“The boys put a lot of hard work in and then we find ourselves in the same situation with a couple of minutes to go as what we’ve found ourselves in many occasions this year,” Brown said.

“It’s obviously not the first time it’s happened and it’s obviously not a fluke that it keeps happening.

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“Sadly all our best players in the back 10 minutes of the game all had crucial errors.”

Warriors coach Nathan Brown at the post-match press conference following his side's golden point defeat to the Dragons at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, NSW, Australia, Friday 2nd July 2021.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown fronts the media following his side’s golden point defeat to the Dragons.
Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

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After conceding the first four pointer of the match, the Warriors took control of the game with tries from Wayde Egan, Eliesa Katoa and Bunty Afoa. Mid-season recruit Chad Townsend converted all three to give the Warriors an 18-6 lead midway through the second-half.

But it all unravelled in the final 10 minutes.

Former Warrior Gerard Beale scored the Dragons’ second try to cut the deficit to eight points in the 70th minute.

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Townsend then bizarrely attempted a field goal, which he missed, giving St George Illawarra a seven-tackle set which they used to march upfield and score another try through Jack Bird.

With time almost up Cody Ramsey scored the Dragons’ fourth try to level the scores.

Crucial errors by Egan and Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the second term of golden point then helped the Dragons get up.

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Meanwhile, the Penrith Panthers have rejoined the Melbourne Storm at the top of the NRL ladder after overcoming the Parramatta Eels 13-12 in the west Sydney derby in Penrith.

Matt Burton, standing in for the injured Nathan Cleary, struck the game-winning field goal for the Panthers in the 78th minute.

Penrith and Melbourne are now four points clear of Parramatta.

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