16 Sep 2008

Big Manu the key, says Fien

3:54 pm on 16 September 2008

The Warriors halfback Nathan Fien says their performance in turning the National Rugby League title race on its head was unbelievable with the odds stacked so heavily against them.

On Sunday night the New Zealand NRL side shocked rugby league with a monumental 18-15 upset over the top qualifiers Melbourne at Olympic Park.

The rank underdogs trailed the Storm 14-15 in the final stages but Michael Witt capped off a 70-metre move featuring Manu Vatuvei scoring the winning try with less than two minutes to play.

It's the first time in the 10 years of the current playoff format that the eighth-placed team has knocked off the top qualifiers.

Fien says nobody gave them a chance but they had confidence in themselves.

And he credits "big Manu" as being the strikepower they needed to create something out of nothing and win the game.

Warriors foward Ruben Wiki says it was an outstanding team effort and it's pretty cool to get a home semi-final.

So the Warriors, who've won nine of their last 11 games, will be at home this Friday for their preliminary semi-final against the Sydney Roosters, while Melbourne have to travel to Brisbane to play the Broncos.