NRL 2020 | New Zealand Warriors hold St George Illawarra Dragons scoreless as pressure piles on side

The New Zealand Warriors will be every fans’ second team for what they have sacrificed to make the 2020 season possible but few expected the side to make any real waves.

They may be rethinking it after destroying the St George Illawarra Dragons 18-0 on the Central Coast, the first time the Warriors have kept a team to nil since 2014 and the first time since 2006 they have kept the opposition scoreless in Australia.

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Having had a training camp in Tamworth, the Warriors will play their home games on the Central Coast and appear to like their new surrounds.

When Warriors half Kodi Nikorima forced his way across the line in the 53rd minute, which pushed the lead out to 18-0, the “home” side were 33 from 33 in completions.

Fox Sports commentator Steve Roach was blown away by the performance.

"It's unbelievable, I've never seen any side do that, let alone the Warriors," Roach said. "They usually get tired and make mistakes in the back end of halves but not this afternoon, they've been outstanding. itching to play and they've proven it."

The Warriors left the Dragons in their wake.Source:Getty Images

Soon after, the Warriors were closing in on the record when Warren Smith chimed in.

“Something I never thought I’d see before at this level of footy,” Warren Smith said when the Warriors got to 39 from 39 completions.

The perfect game ended in the 75th minute when the Warriors made their first mistake, dropping to 44 from 45 when new boy Jack Murchie dropped the ball but it couldn’t deny the Warriors.

45 from 47 was the final count.

Warriors haven’t kept their opposition to zero since 2014.
Only ever done it once in Australia (2006 v Souths)

But while the Warriors were near perfect to get on the board for the 2020 season, the Dragons left a lot to be desired.

“Paul McGregor and his team are under all sorts of pressure now,” Greg Alexander said on Fox League. “I saw a team today that appeared to be nothing more than coaches instructions.

“There was no energy when they needed it. They couldn’t push themselves to do things beyond the game plan. Even some of their fundamentals, their completions to sets were poor and put them at a disadvantage.

“This was the game where the Dragons needed to bring the intensity. They needed to bring the desire, they needed to bring the discipline and their opposition and all they’ve been through that brought it. It was so unexpected, the result, and they way the two teams played in my view.”

The Dragons were left dejected after being held scoreless.Source:Getty Images

Social media slammed the Dragons’ performance.

Mary has to be done, surely… every was tipping the Warriors to struggle hard in the reformatted #NRL but they're running rampage over a star-studded Saints lineup. Embarassing #NRLWarriorsDragons

Wow. This is very, very bad from the @NRL_Dragons #NRLWarriorsDragons. Like, really bad. #bad

It’s hard to win a game when your opponents are completing at 100%, but the Dragons haven’t put the Warriors under any pressure today

Dragons. Yiiiiiiikes #NRLWarriorsDragons pic.twitter.com/p3QpgQH44W

On this, there are big questions to be asked at St George-Illawarra. NZ have been close to perfect, but even so… #NRL

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