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Warriors down Bulldogs in tight NRL battle

NZN 23/06/2017

The Warriors have kept up their push for a spot in the NRL top eight after grinding out a 21-14 win over Canterbury in Auckland.

It took a Shaun Johnson field goal in the 69th minute to give the home side some breathing space.

A dart from dummy-half by skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck six minutes from fulltime and Johnson's conversion sealed victory at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.

The result keeps the Warriors - who had started the round in 11th place, one place ahead of the Bulldogs - within touching distance of the top eight.

The win was tempered by a shoulder injury to hooker Issac Luke in the 33rd minute after what seemed like an innocuous tackle.

However, the post-match prognosis was positive, with coach Stephen Kearney saying Luke had pulled up well.

"He fells really confident about it," Kearney said.

"It's one of those things where we've got to have it assessed tomorrow but he 's waving his arm about at the minute."

Johnson's kicking game was a feature of the contest and Kearney said it has been a focus because of the slippery conditions.

"In terms of the movement of the footy, it was going to be a bit limited tonight given it was a bit greasy out there," he said.

"So it was about making sure, if they're going to get points, they had a come a long way to try and get them"

The Bulldogs had Blues forwards Josh Jackson and David Klemmer backing up from State of Origin II and Klemmer, off the bench, racked up 142 metres, the most of any Canterbury forward.

Jackson's night included being sinbinned in the shadow of halftime for holding down after having made a try-saving tackle on Johnson.

"I thought it was an absolutely outstanding effort from Josh to get back," Bulldogs skipper James Graham said.

"He definitely saved six points."

Graham also praised Jackson and Klemmer for their efforts in backing up after Origin.

"For them to play like they both did on Wednesday and get a flight first thing Thursday morning and come and play for the blue and white show how much it means to them," he said.

"I'm just disappointed for those two especially not getting the win."

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