The Eels walked out onto Mt Smart Stadium on the back of two losses and without Origin superstars Jarryd Hayne and William Hopoate. Chris Sandow was slotted into the fullback role with Corey Normal and Luke Kelly taking control in the halves.
It took only two minutes for the Warriors to add points on the board through David Fusitua who dived into the corner. From there, the tries flowed in for the opening 40 minutes. In the 12th minute, Shaun Johnson kicked a well placed grubber for himself between the Eels defense to grab his own try. Sam Tomkins quickly followed which what was a beautiful try after recovering the ball from a Eels scrum-feed to score his own try.
The Eels could never gain momentum in the first half, this showed as the Warriors constantly kept racking-up massive metres and constantly keep-ing the Eels defending their line. Soon after, the floodgates opened and we saw tries in quick succession for Hurrell, a Tomkins double and Mannering.
At the half-time break, the Warriors walked to the sheds with a lead of 36 points to nil. Their tries flowed through from a weight of possession (To which they saw 65%) and what looked to be an Eels pack lacking hunger and determination. The second-half kicked off and the first ten minutes showed a bit of for a Eels pack looking to play some (serious) catch-up football. They start to shift the ball a bit and gain some momentum. But to no avail, they could no crack the Warriors defensive wall.
Even after consecutive line dropouts and penalties, the Warriors were not about to let a depleted Eels side cross to score. It took 16 minutes into the second half however for the Warriors to increase their point tally, after some brilliant work by Henry to cross the line. With the tries flowing in ever so quickly, the Warriors looked likely to smash their previous point scoring record set-back in 2006 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in which the Warriors ran way 66-0 winners.
Although, the Eels wall started to stand-up and they began to shut-down a firing Warriors pack rather well, desperately trying to save humiliation and being on the wrong side of the record books. However, in the 62nd minute, after some a short pass from Johsnon, Mannering busted through the Eels defensive line and streaked away, then passing to fellow team Townsend to set him up beautifully right near the posts. Bringing the Warriors try total to eight. Johnson enjoyed a perfect night from the boot kicking all eight from eight goals.
As the final minutes of the game came around, the Eels started to show serious desperation to score to put some points on the board, just to save the humility of a heavy scoreless loss, but again, the Warriors defensive wall simply to strong and they found themselves unable to crack their defensive line. Full time saw the Warriors run way convincing winners 48 points to nil at home tonight, in front of a 14,087 strong crowd.
This does leave us with one question. Would having Hayne (and for that matter Hopoate) in the squad at all made a difference? or were the Warriors just to red hot for the Eels to handle?