Warriors finals hopes up in the air after rare draw

Kodi Nikorima. Picture: RNZ

The finals hopes of the Warriors remain up in the air after they played out a rare NRL draw against Brisbane, with the scores locked up at 18-all after a 90 minute golden point thriller.

The Broncos reeled in a 16-6 half-time deficit but it wasn’t enough to avoid the first draw since round 21 in 2016 when coincidentally Cronulla also remained level with Gold Coast Titans at 18-all.

Both Brisbane and the Warriors may have been last round winners but were still sweating on keeping in touch with the top eight with a victory with identical 6-9 records when they arrived at Suncorp Stadium.

However, they are sweating on their finals hopes after neither side could nail a golden point-winning field goal, with a total of six attempts sailing past the uprights in the 10 minute extra-time period.

Both sides now languish three points outside the top eight.

Brisbane appeared to have iced the result when teenage back-rower David Fifita backed up from Queensland’s heart breaking State of Origin series defeat to score a blockbusting 66th minute try.

Fifita, 19, cut through five defenders to give the hosts an 18-16 lead with the Warriors’ will seemingly broken.

However the visitors got a final chance to send the match into overtime when Tevita Pangai were penalised for a strip in the 77th minute and hooker Issac Luke coolly stepped up to slot the kick.

That was the last time anyone booted truly for the match with Warriors half Kodi Nikorima spraying three golden point field goals attempts and Brisbane’s James Segeyaro and Anthony Milford messing up another trio in a heart-stopping finish.

Earlier, Brisbane cut the half-time deficit to 16-12 after skipper Darius Boyd crashed over in the 46th minute before Fifita’s heroics appeared to give Brisbane a second straight win.

The Warriors grabbed a 10-point half-time lead after carving up Brisbane’s right side edge.

Brisbane drew first blood when prop Payne Haas ran off Jake Turpin to power over in the seventh minute but after that it was all one way traffic.

Adam Blair showed uncharacteristic speed off fellow ex-Bronco Nikorima to score in the 14th minute before Luke burrowed over seven minutes later.

Some Roger Tuivasa-Sheck magic set up David Fusitu’a’s 33rd minute four-pointer to ensure the Broncos were on the rack by the main break.

On the injury front, the Warriors lost Ken Maumalo to concussion and Lachlan Burr with a groin injury.

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