Locke makes successful return in NSW Cup
Warriors fullback Kevin Locke came through unscathed in his first full match in more than two months when he lined up for the Auckland Vulcans in their New South Wales Cup clash against a powerful Newcastle combination.by NRL
Warriors fullback Kevin Locke came through unscathed in his first full match in more than two months when he lined up for the Auckland Vulcans in their New South Wales Cup clash against a powerful Newcastle combination.
In a heartening return for Vodafone Warriors head coach Brian McClennan, Locke didn't appear to be troubled by the leg and sternum injuries which have plagued his season so far.
While the Vulcans lost 18-32, Locke was a key contributor. His second half try enabled the side to draw to within six points of the Knights at 18-24 before they added a penalty and a converted try to seal their 14-point victory. Locke also had the goal-kicking duties, nailing all three conversion attempts.
He started the 2012 season by playing in the Vodafone Warriors' first four matches but left the field with a corked leg late in the encounter with Gold Coast on March 24.
While it was hoped he would recover quickly he wasn't able to return until the Anzac Day date with Melbourne, only to have his comeback ended in the opening minutes by a sternum injury. Until yesterday, that was the only football he had been able to play since March 24.
In Saturday's match against the Knights, the Vulcans opened the scoring with a Willie Peace try before conceding four converted tries to trail 6-24.
A Pita Godinet try enabled them to go to halftime down 12-24. The first stanza of the second half was scoreless until Locke's try gave the Vulcans a late chance of having a say.
At Townsend Oval, Newcastle
Newcastle Knights 32 (Josh Mantellato 2, Albert Kelly, Michael Mate, Marvin Filipo tries; Josh Mantellato 6 goals).
Auckland Vulcans 18 (Willie Peace, Pita Godinet, Kevin Locke tries; Kevin Locke 3 goals).
Halftime: 24-12 Knights.
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