The Warriors women’s side have shrugged off a shambolic start to their NRL Nines campaign to snatch a thrilling win over the Roosters in Perth.
The Warriors were forced to play in the men’s team’s jerseys and without socks after their gear bag was left at the team hotel.
But Justin Morgan’s squad clearly turned up to play as they dug deep in scorching conditions before a late intercept try by Shontelle Stowers snatched a 13-8 victory.
The news was not so good for the men’s team as – wearing the same jerseys – they produced an error-riddled performance on the way to a 34-0 thumping to Newcastle.
Despite the jersey oversight, the Warriors women came out strong, earning a penalty in the opening set before Huia Harding crashed over.
An impressive show of strength and speed by Zahara Temara saw the Roosters hit back but a failure to convert meant the Warriors went into the break leading 6-4.
Warriors womens team left their jerseys at the hotel. Rugby league is back, baby 😂
— Tom Cosley (@tyhrblue) February 14, 2020
The Warriors bombed a golden chance to extend their advantage before halftime after losing the ball on the first tackle following a huge 40/20 by Charntay Poko.
And the Roosters made them pay shortly after the restart as Kiwi Fern Kiana Takairangi put her side in front for the first time.
With the match played in 34 degree heat, the Warriors looked like wilting in the second half as errors crept into their game.
But with two minutes on the clock, Stowers swooped in race and raced 80m to break the Roosters’ hearts.
Meanwhile, Stephen Kearney’s inexperienced side was never really in the contest against the Kurt Gidley-inspired Knights, who ran in six unanswered tries.
Gidley, who came out of retirement for the tournament, had a hand in several tries while former Warriors halfback Mason Lino also impressed as they continually punished the Warriors mistakes.
The heavy defeat has dealt the Warriors’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages a huge blow ahead of Saturday’s second pool game against the Roosters.
The women’s side play St George Illawarra and Brisbane tomorrow, with the top two teams qualifying for the final.