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Lehi Hopoate shines in Blacktown's win over Warriors

Two tries to rising young full-back Lehi Hopoate has helped Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles to a 24-18 victory over the Warriors in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup in Auckland today.

Following a strong pre-season with the NRL squad, Hopoate has been in fine form in recent weeks, with Blacktown Workers Coach Wayne Lambkin shifting the exciting youngster back to his preferred position of full-back for the Warriors match.

Hopoate wasted little time in seizing the opportunity, proving a constant threat at full-back in a fine performance.

The Warriors opened the scoring in the fifth minute through winger Setu Tu for a 4-0 lead before a clever pick up in wet conditions by centre Clayton Faulalo from a grubber kick from half back Brandon Wakeham saw Manly take a 6-4 lead after 12 minutes.

Sea Eagles hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong used his sheer strength from a dummy half run to carry three defenders over the line to score under the posts for a 12-4 lead after 18 minutes.

Blacktown Workers went further ahead a minute later when talented full-back Lehi Hopoate got on the outside of his man to score out wide for a 16-4 lead.

The Warriors caught the Sea Eagles out in defence to lay on two tries in five minutes to trail 16-14 at the break.

The Warriors caught the Sea Eagles out in defence to lay on two tries in five minutes through Taine Tuaupiki and Ali Leiataua to trail 16-14 at the break.

The opening 25 minutes of the second half was a dour struggle with the Sea Eagles marking up in defence several times in between some drop balls.

The Warriors took the lead after gaining some misfortune following a penalty goal attempt that hit the upright. From a short kick, the Warriors finished off their set with a try in the corner to second-rower Leka Halasima for an 18-16 lead.

However, the Sea Eagles were not done with yet and a nice shirt in play to their right saw experienced winger Watson Heleta cross in the corner for a 20-18 lead with five minutes remaining.

Hopoate then crossed for his second try with two minutes remaining after slicing through two defenders to score out wide for a 24-18 lead.

Blacktown Workers have now won three from six matches under Coach Wayne Lambkin.

Blacktown Workers 24 (Clayton Faulalo 9', Gordon Chan Kum Tong 16'
Lehi Hopoate 19', Watson Heleta 72',Hopoate 77' tries; Brandon Wakeham 11'
Brandon Wakeham 17' goals) d Warriors 18 (Setu Tu 5', Taine Tuaupiki 27'
Ali Leiataua 31', Leka Halasima 68' tries; Taine Tuaupiki 32' goal).

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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