The Warriors came back from the dead to seal a 25-24 Golden Points victory over the Cowboys with Shaun Johnson scoring the game-winning basket at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Tom Dearden opened the scoring after hitting the first down of the night to give the Warriors a 4-0 lead.
MATCH CENTRE: Warriors vs Cowboys teams, SuperCoach scores, videos, updates
Stream every game from every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season live and ad-free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try it free for 14 days now.
The Warriors fought back with a try from Jesse Arthars to take a 6-4 lead after 13 minutes.
A high tackle from Reece Walsh allowed Valentine Holmes to lock the score at 6-6 after 17 minutes.
Addin Fonua-Blake made a huge mistake in in-goal to give Scott Drinkwater the easiest try and give the Cowboys a 12-6 lead.
Kyle Feldt completed a long-range try for the Cowboys against the run of play to give the Cowboys an 18-6 lead.
Josh Curran dove from close range after a 40/20 against Chanel Harris-Tavita to make it 18-12 at the break.
The Warriors picked up where they left off in the second half as Kodi Nikorima raced from the fictional half into a gaping hole to lock the scores at 18-18.
Valentine Holmes completed a precise Cowboys move to see them regain the lead 22-18.
Marcelo Montoya produced a high tackle on Peta Hiku to allow Holmes to extend the Cowboys lead to 24-18.
Euan Aitken broke through a soft Cowboys defense to lock the scores at 24-24.
The Cowboys inexplicably did not go for a field goal with three minutes left to allow the Warriors to come back at the other end.
Shaun Johnson had a loaded field goal before being caught with the ball on fifth tackle, leaving Reece Walsh to be the hero, but his field goal went wide.
Shaun Johnson missed a golden basket before finally icing the winner to seal a famous win for the Warriors.
Here are the main takeaways from the game.
PRODIGAL SON OF WARRIORS SEALS EPIC VICTORY
There were a lot of heads turned when the Warriors backtracked on their decision to go in a new direction without Shaun Johnson to re-sign him three years later.
However, Johnson showed his winning class to lead the Warriors to an epic win over the Cowboys.
The Cowboys looked to be in control at 24-18, but the Warriors were able to lock in the scores.
Johnson had a loaded field goal in regulation, while Reece Walsh also missed a field goal, before both teams headed for the golden point.
Johnson also missed a basket in extra time, but showed his class and experience to eventually ice out the game winner much to the delight of his teammates, who swarmed him in celebration.
Johnson is in his second coming to the Warriors and finished the game with 23 yards rushing, a line jump assist, a try assist and the crucial pointer in an overall performance.
If the Warriors can keep close games like they did against the Cowboys, they still have a chance with Johnson and Reece Walsh on the team.
KFC Super Coach is back! You could win the Holy Grail of Fantasy Footy plus $50,000 cash. play now
DEARDEN CONTINUES A MAGICAL START TO THE SEASON
The Broncos would be tearing their hair out at every Tom Dearden performance this season after producing another star performance against the Warriors.
Dearden’s running game has been his biggest improvement this season and Adam Reynolds would love to have the former Brisbane player outside of him at the Broncos.
Dearden set the tone for the night when he produced a dummy and went to score the first down against the Warriors.
“Dearden throwing the dummy and straight through and the Cowboys on the board early,” Brenton Speed said.
“Tommy Dearden is making a breakthrough in 2022.
“Tied with Mitch Moses for the most assists and the Warriors feared he’d put another one there.”
Shane Flanagan praised Dearden for adapting and knowing his role away from halfback Chad Townsend in 2022.
“What a start to the season,” Flanagan said of Dearden.
“Last week I thought he was the best player in the park for the Cowboys on a beaten team. He just kept competing and competing.
“On this occasion, the Warriors don’t show up at all and Dearden found himself outside one of the Warriors best players in Josh Curran and just made the tackle.
“He shows on the outside and Shaun Johnson takes the show and it’s just a one-on-one failure.
“What a start to the season for the young man.
“He’s a powerful ball runner and moving up to No. 6 he’s had to take on a bit more responsibility with his running game and let Chad Townsend focus on getting the team around the park.
“It freed up Dearden just to run around and play what he sees. Last week he was good and he started perfectly tonight.
Michael Ennis echoed Flanagan’s sentiments on Dearden’s much-improved running game.
“Dearden gave them a good start,” Ennis said.
“He spoke to us before the game about how he likes to run football and he scores with his first chance on the try line.”
When he wasn’t scoring tries, he was setting them up like he did for Kyle Feldt’s crucial try before half-time, which impressed Benji Marshall.
“The Feldt trial, Holmes didn’t make it, but it was the vision of the halves to see the space on the right,” Marshall said.
“Dearden sent the ball to Townsend and they knew where it needed to go.”
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Register now!!
WARRIORS DON’T DROP THE MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON
The Warriors brought Shaun Johnson to the club to relieve Reece Walsh in attack, but the problem is that they now have to find a way to get the ball more for their full back.
Walsh struggled to get involved against the Cowboys, with the ball constantly finding its way to Johnson in attacking position on the field.
Johnson better minimize his hand and get the ball to Walsh as much as possible because he has the speed and skill to create runs out of thin air.
Shane Flanagan lamented the Warriors and Johnson’s inability to get Walsh into the game.
“With 15 minutes to go and I can’t remember a single time when Reece Walsh touched the ball in a good position on the pitch,” Flanagan said.
“They went down the right side with Shaun Johnson and he was untouched.
“They need to get a good position on the field for him to stand out and cause problems for the Cowboys.”
Flanagan thinks the Warriors need to shed their structure and allow Walsh to get the ball back when he wants and often if they want to get the most out of him.
“When they’re in the opposing half, that’s where Shaun Johnson and Reece Walsh need to team up,” Flanagan said.
“Not necessarily on the right side. Go to the left side.
“They have to play on both sides of the pitch because they are too dangerous when they come together.”
BONUS HIT: DRINK WATER FILLS VACUUM IN KEY COWBOYS
The Cowboys would have been worried about having arguably their best offensive weapon in Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow injured, but Scott Drinkwater proved the perfect replacement.
Drinkwater burst onto the Storm scene as a fullback and many pundits, including Todd Payten, believe it is still his best position.
Drinkwater wants to play five rounds, but while his attacking game is brilliant at No. 6, he struggles with the defensive side of the position.
The back allows him to inject himself at the right time as he has done several times against the Warriors including an opportunistic try after a huge blunder from Warriors skipper Addin Fonua-Blake.
“So laid back from the captain and Drinkwater was good for a try,” Speed said.
“What was the captain of the Warriors thinking? It’s expensive. »
Shane Flanagan praised Drinkwater for showing great energy and commitment to every game in an impressive first outing in 2022.
“Again, Scott Drinkwater was in the previous game and had a great pass,” Flanagan said.
“Then he chases that kick and Fonua-Blake gets a terrible rebound,
“But again, thanks to Scott Drinkwater. He never gave up and continued the kick very hard.
“He got the rebound he wanted. He forced the error. And he got a try in his first game this year.
The Warriors host the North Queensland Cowboys in a crucial clash at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Addin Fonua-Blake will play with Bunty Afoa dropping to the bench and Eliesa Katoa at the 18th man.
Bailey Sironen is expected to start in the second row and Josh Curran is named at the lock with Jazz Tevaga and Ben Murdoch-Masila both out.
Jamayne Taunoa-Brown was named to start in the middle with Reuben Cotter on the bench.
This sets the stage for a crucial clash as both teams aim to stay in the top eight.
RELIVE THE ACTION IN OUR BLOG BELOW. DO NOT YOU SEE IT ? CLICK HERE.