Warriors end barren run, Storm suffer first defeat


New Zealand Warriors ended their 11-game losing streak by hammering Newcastle Knights 40-18 and Melbourne Storm suffered a first defeat of the NRL season against Cronulla Sharks on Monday.

The Warriors had not won for over eight months before the Knights arrived at the Mt Smart Stadium, but Shaun Johnson helped himself to 16 points as Andrew McFadden's side finally got that winning feeling again.

It was not all plain sailing for the Warriors, who found themselves 12-6 down in the first half following two tries in the space of four minutes from Sam Mataora and Dane Gaga after Solomone Kata had gone over.

The Knights were blown away after the break, though, as Blake Ayshford, Tuimoala Lolohea and Manu Vatuvei touched down in a devastating nine-minute spell.

Inspirational halfback Johnson added a solo try of his own and took his tally with the boot to 12 points after the fit-again Issac Luke scored the ruthless Warriors' seventh try.

The Storm missed the chance to go two points clear at the top of the ladder after Cronulla ran out 14-6 winners at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

Craig Bellamy's men were on course to make it four wins out of four when Felise Kaufusi scored the opening try 19 minutes in and Cameron Smith added the extras.

But Ben Barba showed a great turn of pace to get the Sharks on the board and Chad Townsend surged away to put them in front early in the second half, with James Maloney booting six points to give his side their first win over the Sharks since 2012.

Melbourne wing Marika Koroibete may face punishment for an alleged trip on Chad Townsend midway through the second half and they also lost Curtis Scott to a leg injury to compound a miserable evening, with Cronulla winning for the second time this season.

Parramatta Eels moved up to fifth place with an 8-0 victory over Wests Tigers in an error-strewn encounter at ANZ Stadium. 

The Eels' victory came at a cost, though, as they lost Tim Mannah to a shoulder injury, while there are also concerns over Danny Wicks (cheek), Junior Paulo (concussion) and Semi Radradra (finger). Tigers' Tim Grant also suffered concussion.