The Warriors have failed to make the top eight in each of their past five NRL campaigns, but few fans of the game need reminding of the damage the unpredictable side can do when they reach the finals.
The 2011 sudden-death semi-final between the Warriors and Tigers is the subject of this week’s Flashback Friday.
Pumped 40-10 by Brisbane in the qualifying final a week earlier, the Warriors were on course for a straight-sets finals exit when they trailed Wests Tigers 18-6 at halftime at the SFS.
But the Warriors scored the only three tries of a frenetic second half, pegging the deficit back to two points with 15 minutes remaining before rookie halfback Shaun Johnson’s fateful cross-field bomb at the 77-minute mark.
Inscrutable centre Krisnan Inu batted the ball back, Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri was unable to handle it and it popped back into the prostrate Inu’s hands. Inu reached out to score a remarkable match-winning try and send the Warriors into the preliminary final, 22-20.
The Tigers have not played finals footy since, while the Warriors progressed to the grand final (and a 24-10 loss to Manly) before going on a similar September hiatus.