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Magpies hold firm to down Warriors in trial clash

Western Suburbs Magpies have produced a determined team performance to down the New Zealand Warriors in their Intrust Super Premiership trial mach today at Northland Events Centre.

Playing with just a 16-man squad following several late withdrawals due to NRL commitments, Brett Hodgson's side showed superb heart and effort against a Warriors squad with six extra players to fight all the way in the contest.

Leading 16-6 at the break before losing another two players to NRL commitments, the Magpies will take plenty of confidence from their opening half before fatigue and further player absences saw the Warriors play better in the second.

In the end, it was a determined run from Bilal Maarbani four minutes from time that sealed a 20-18 win for the Magpies with his second try of the afternoon.

Both Tyson Gamble and Kauri Aupouri were strong in the opening half as they set up tries on the right and left edge respectively, with Harry O'Toole and Maarbani proving to be the beneficiaries of the playmakers' sharp hands in the middle.

Patrice Siolo also found his way on to the scoresheet off a short ball from Soni Luke, who remained one of the best players on the field throughout the entire match.

Western Suburbs will head back to Australia ahead of their season opener on March 16 when they take on the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval.

Western Suburbs Magpies 20 (Maarbani 2, O'Toole, Siolo tries; Gamble 1/4 goals) def. NZ Warriors 18 (Williams, Ale, Turner tries; Pehwairangi 3/3 goals)

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