It was never a promising season for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
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With rain falling from the opening whistle, it was the Warriors who drew first blood, a penalty goal following a tough opening 20 minutes. Shortly after they boosted the lead to 8-0 with a great try finished off by Brent Tate but the score did not change from there until 13 minutes after halftime.
Canberra were the next to score, coming within two points following a try for Lincoln Withers but a knock on by the Raiders' Country half Todd Carney from the kickoff ensured they wouldn't challenge again immediately, instead handing the Warriors easy field position. They took immediate advantage at it was 12-6 within minutes after rookie Ryan Shortland crossed.
A Michael Witt penalty goal became the next and final scoring play in the 63rd minute but from there it was defence, errors and moments of comedy right until the siren, including another Witt penalty attempt where the ball went nowhere near the posts and the kicker managed to injure himself in falling.
The 7,358 fans who braved the wet were, for the most part, rewarded for their troubles as the home side held on for an 8 point victory. The Warriors will enjoy the bye next week while Canberra stay on the road in Sydney against the Roosters.
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Michael Witt (Warriors) 2 Points: Grant Rovelli (Warriors) 1 Point: Alan Tongue (Raiders)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Mt Smart Stadium where the Warriors host the Raiders. It's pretty wet here this afternoon.
Raiders - Dobson to five-eighth, Campese to the bench.
Warriors - Ah Van on the wing for Kirk. Lauaki starts with Swann back to the bench.
1 min: The Raiders start play...
10 min: The Warriors are dominating the early stages with Canberra also making plenty of handling errors in the conditions.
18 min: Difficult conditions here and the Canberra players aren't responding well. Warriors on top again.
21 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors The Warriors get a penalty for being held down in the play the ball from close range. Witt opens up the scoring for the day. New Zealand Warriors 2-0
23 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Awesome try here. Witt grubbers for himself around the halfway mark and regathers before picking up Rovelli on the inside. He doesn't quite have the pace but finds Tate on the outside who scores a fantastic try. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt successful. New Zealand Warriors 8-0
25 min: A promising raid by Canberra comes unstuck with a poor pass from Monaghan.
33 min: The Raiders get a talking to for constant infringements. The conditions aren't helping though. Boom rookie Russell Packer has just come on the field for the Warriors.
37 min: Checking a try to the Warriors...
NO TRY - denied for an obstruction.
40 min: A late attacking raid by Canberra fails to produce a try and the Warriors head to the sheds with an 8-point buffer.
41 min: The Warriors restart here at Mt Smart.
43 min: The weather has turned pretty nasty here with showers and a the lights are on too.
46 min: The Raiders have had a piggy back up the field and are now in a good attacking position.
50 min: A goal line restart from the Warriors goes 70m and the Raiders lose some of their advantage there...
53 min: Checking a try to the Raiders...
53 min: TRY Canberra Raiders The Raiders are in with an opportunistic try to rugged hooker Lincoln Withers. He scoops up a loose ball from a deflection to score just next to the posts and the Raiders are right back in this one. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful. New Zealand Warriors 8-6
53 min: And then Carney knocks-on from the restart...
55 min: A bit of a stoush breaks out here...
57 min: Checking a try to the Warriors...
57 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The Warriors go in again through young centre Shortland. He pounces on a grubber into the in-goal area. Conversion attempt by Michael Witt unsuccessful. New Zealand Warriors 12-6
60 min: Attendance: 7,358 - pretty average but the weather is poor.
63 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors The Raiders give another penalty away in their territory and Witt steps up to take the two points. New Zealand Warriors 14-6
69 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors Witt has another attempt at goal but it all goes horribly wrong. The conditions are getting worse. New Zealand Warriors 14-6
Witt seems to have hurt himself on that and has now left the field.
72 min: The Warriors go close in the corner but good defence from Canberra spoils the party...
80 min: Fulltime here at Mt Smart - a solid but ugly win to the Warriors under heavy conditions.