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Warriors flex NRL Nines muscle

The hometown Warriors have set the inaugural Auckland Nines alight on the tournament's opening day.
Warriors flex NRL Nines muscle
by AAP

By James MacSmith

AUCKLAND, Feb 15 AAP - The hometown Warriors have set the inaugural Auckland Nines alight on the tournament's opening day.

At a sold out Eden Park on Saturday, the Warriors put Canberra to the sword in the two-day event's fifth game.

After the Gold Coast had earlier lived up to their rating as one of the pre-tournament favourites with a 22-7 defeat of Wests Tigers, the Warriors showed they will also be a team to beat.

With Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins firing the Warriors racked up the highest score in the tournament so far in a 25-14 win over Canberra that had the pro-Warriors crowd on their feet with every line break and every try.

Brad Fittler had his thigh wrapped with ice after his return to rugby league after 10 years in Sydney Roosters 18-11 loss to Parramatta, with Sam Radradra scoring three tries for the Eels.

Ben Barba scored one try and set up another in his first outing in a Broncos jersey as the Broncos made light work of Canterbury 20-4.

"It's great to have Ben out there for us, he adds another dimension to our play," Broncos captain Sam Thaiday said.

"Hopefully he can return to the form when he was one of the game's best players a couple of years ago.

Manly's Steve Menzies enjoyed a successful return on his comeback to the NRL, as the Sea Eagles defeated North Queensland 17-8.

Newcastle playmaker Tyrone Roberts scored the tournament's opening try in the fifth minute when he picked up a loose Cronulla pass and sprinted 55m to score in the Sharks' 15-12 win.

In the same Cronulla forward Sam Tagataese scored rugby league's first five-point try when he crashed over under the posts for the bonus try in the seventh minute.

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