The Warriors' young brigade came to the fore as they beat the Sydney Roosters 30-26 in a physical, see-sawing NRL battle in Auckland on Saturday night.

Rookie centre Konrad Hurrell grabbed a double, as did young halfback Shaun Johnson, while Hurrell also added a game-high 205 metres with his 13 runs.

Johnson's second try put the Warriors in front for the final time before the club's leading tryscorer, winger Manu Vatuvei, ended a five-match drought with a try of his own.

However, the Warriors had to survive a nervous last three minutes after fullback Anthony Minichiello scored to help to close the gap to within a converted try and the Roosters searched desperately for the winner.

The result leapfrogged the Warriors, who led 12-10 at halftime, above the Roosters and into the top eight on points difference.

For the Roosters, halfback Mitchell Pearce did his NSW State of Origin chances no harm with his accurate kicking game and pass selection.

But they had bench forward Boyd Cordner put on a report after his shoulder made contact with the head of Warriors fullback Jerome Ropati seven minutes before halftime.

Ropati was carried off with a dislocated knee suffered in the tackle and took no further part in the game.

The Roosters, having spent much of the first quarter in their own territory, opened the scoring against the run of play with second-rower Aidan Guerra the creator.

Guerra make a break and then produced a deft grubber that resulted in a try for centre Joseph Leilua.

Two minutes later, Guerra turned try-scorer, after the Roosters took advantage of repeat possession when Ropati spilled a Pearce kick.

From there Hurrell took the spotlight, to the delight of the home fans in the 16,220 Mt Smart Stadium crowd.

His first try showed his blistering speed as he hit a gap and scampered 65 metres to the line.

His second demonstrated his strength, as he barged over in traffic.

Five-eighth James Maloney converted both, but opposite Braith Anasta landed a penalty to reduce the margin to 12-10 at halftime.

The second half ebbed and flowed as the lead changed repeatedly.

Teenage winger Tautau Moga got a try on debut with a sharp run down the sideline, before Johnson went through some weak defence to touch down.

Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves replied by barging over by the posts.

However, Johnson showed his experience of having played Australian rules football by leaping high to grab a bomb and put the Warriors in front before the game's frenetic finale.

NZ Newswire

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