15 Sep 2008

Warriors make history

8:26 am on 15 September 2008

The New Zealand Warriors have turned the National Rugby League premiership race on its head and installed Manly as favourites after their last gasp 18-15 win last night over the Melbourne Storm at what's known as the graveyard.

The rank underdogs trailed 14-15 in the final stages but Michael Witt capped off a length of the field move featuring Manu Vatvuvei to score 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, and it means the Warriors 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.

The Warriors have won nine of their last 11 games, and they've lost only three of 12 games at Mt. Smart this season.

Manly and Cronulla have this weekend off.