Saturday 24 March 2018 / 05:57 AM

NYC preliminary final highlights

Another pair of NYC finals upsets has created an unlikely Grand Final showdown – the Brisbane Broncos vs. the New Zealand Warriors – after both sides staged remarkable comebacks in their respective prelims.

On Friday evening, St George Illawarra had the Broncos Under-20s on the ropes with the opening two tries. But the Dragons botched several subsequent opportunities, and the Broncos hit back to snatch a 14-12 lead by halftime.

After a long impasse, the Saints reclaimed the lead in the 59th minute, but Brisbane five-eighth Duncan Paia’aua laid on a try shortly afterwards with a deft kick and scored himself with five minutes to go to seal a 24-16 result.

The in-form Warriors, who only scraped into eighth spot via a last-minute sideline conversion that secured a final-round draw against Penrith, marched to their fourth decider in five years after a dramatic finish against Parramatta.

After tries to rampaging prop Sam Lisone, impressive backrower Adam Tuimavave-Gerard and halfback linchpin Mason Lino, who carried a leg injury through most of the match, the Warriors took a 19-6 lead into halftime.

The Eels rallied, however, posting the first three tries of the second half to lead by seven points with just two and a half minutes on the clock.


But Kurt Robinson’s determined try from dummy-half gave the ultra-dangerous Warriors a sniff, and Tuimoala Lolohea then scooped up a ball that had been knocked free from Lino by an Eels defender to plunge over with 20 seconds remaining. 

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