2 Sep 2023

Understrength Warriors suffer heavy loss to Dolphins

7:12 pm on 2 September 2023
Warriors forward Josh Curran is surrounded by Dolphins defenders.

Warriors forward Josh Curran is surrounded by Dolphins defenders. Photo: Photosport

The Warriors have suffered a 34-10 loss to the Dolphins in their final match of the NRL regular season, meaning they'll take a fourth-placed ranking into the playoffs.

Warriors coach Andrew Webster chose to rest a number of his leading players for the match in Brisbane - including captain Tohu Harris and star playmaker Shaun Johnson - and it showed in their equal-worst defensive display of the season.

Their hopes slumped when conceding four tries to trail 22-0 at halftime, with Jack Bostock, Sean O'Sullivan, Isaiya Katoa and Jamayne Isaako all crossing.

The Warriors breathed life into the match with tries in the space of three minutes to Freddy Lussick and Marcelo Montoya midway through the second spell.

However, they couldn't stop Max Plath and Kenny Bromwich crossing late for the Dolphins, who ended a challenging maiden season on a high, ranked 13th out of 17 teams.

Kiwis international Isaako kicked five goals to ensure he would finish the regular season as the competition's leading point-scorer and top try-scorer.

It broke a seven-match winning streak for the Warriors, whose lone trip to the finals since reaching the 2011 grand final came in 2018, when they were eliminated in the first round.

By finishing fourth, the Warriors will take two lives into the finals.

Their first assignment will be a daunting trip across the Tasman to face the competition minor premiers - either the Brisbane Broncos or Penrith Panthers.

The defending champion Panthers needed to beat North Queensland in their final match later on Saturday to clinch top spot in the standings and a home clash against the Warriors.