The Canberra Raiders have kept their top 8 hopes alive with a tough 36-16 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at a wet Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.
The Canberra Raiders continued their form from last week throughout the opening 40 minutes scoring three tries to one but it could've been oh so very different for the home-side with the first chance going to the home-side. Ata Hingano looked to have created the first four pointer for the Warriors as Solomone Kata got to the ball first but referee Adam Gee disallowed the try with a knock on ruled. The Raiders then rubbed salt into the wounds as they scored a long range try through Nick Cotric after some great work from the Raiders. The next Canberra try was a repeat of the first except it was Cotric who turned the ball back inside for Croker to score with another effort from distance after a direct run from Cotric created the gap and Croker took advantage to score.
Out of nothing the Warriors then hit back after some hot potato work with the ball after the inital last tackle option was regathered and using the ball through the hands a great piece of skill Matulino and Hoffman kept the ball alive and got it to David Fusitua who scored in the corner.
Canberra finished the scoring when the Warriors were left dazzled by a step then a show and go by Blake Austin who sliced through the line and although the bunker was needed to approve it, it was a quick replay and the try was awarded giving the Raiders an 18-6 lead at the break.
After half time the rain came and so did the Warriors and despite almost 75% of possession early in the second half the Warriors couldn't penetrate the defence of the Warriors and despite having opportunity after opportunity the Warriors just didn't look like they wanted to spread the ball instead pulling off some of the most selfish moves in attack. The shift finally happened at the 55 minute mark when the Raiders defence was left in two minds and RTS went through to score and give the Warriors a sniff of a comeback.
A subsequent drop ball in the set after points by Ken Maumalo put the pressure on the homeside and the Raiders capitalised when they needs just one attacking set to shift right and score through Joey Leilua after some nice work from Elliott Whitehead. The Raiders then put one two more tries to put the game beyond doubt with Jordan Rapana putting on one of his trademark great finishes to score in the corner meanwhile Nick Cotric brought up his double straight from an attacking scrum when he sliced through the defence. The Raiders almost had one final chance with Jordan Rapana almost creating something from nothing but was denied by the bunker who upheld a 'No Try' live call from the officials.
The Warriors finished it off ironically with something that eluded them all game, a slick piece of attack and it was a great ball from Solomone Kata to put through Isaiah Papalli to score inside the final minute to put a bit more respectability into the scoreline.
Next weekend, the Raiders have a big test up against the red hot Penrith Panthers at GIO Stadium next Sunday whilst the Warriors are in action on Friday night taking on the Warriors at ANZ Stadium.