Warriors roll over Raiders in finals push

The Warriors have moved into 8th spot with a demolition job of the Canberra Raiders 50 points to 16 at Mt Smart Stadium tonight.

It was another round in the finals roulette with New Zealand and Canberra firing rounds to stay alive in the race for the finals. The loser would start planning their Mad Monday celebrations.

Warriors were first on the board with Thomas Leuluai putting a nice short ball onto the chest of Elijah Taylor to open the scoring in what turned out to be a high scoring contest.

Jarrod Croker had registered several doubles against the Warriors and added another one today. His first was using his pace to get outside Hurrell to plant it down and the second was off a mystifying Johnson pass that allowed him to streak away.

That double seemed to fire up the home side though, Manu Vatuvei bringing the crowd to it's feet with a first half hat-trick. His first was latching onto a grubber, second came from some superb hands from the spine to send him in.

His last one will give Reece Robinson nightmares, he got some pace up and just steamrolled over the fullback to get the hat-trick and give the Warriors a 20-12 lead at the break.

The second half started quiet but it seemed to be the calm before the storm, as Shaun Johnson stamped his authority on the contest within six minutes.

Johnson's first came from his trademark sidestep giving him room to go the required distance for the try. Second was all pace, as he swooped on an errant Raiders pass to take it home. The third was after some good runs, kicking for himself and beating everyone else to the ball sending Mount Smart into raptures.

They added two more tries to bring up the half century as Johnson turned provider to send Simon Mannering in for a rare four-pointer. Ngani Laumape showed some pace after a run-around play to get the tryline.

It was a consolation but Jarrod Croker added his name to the hat-trick list swooping on a grubber from Reece Robinson to plant the ball down.

New Zealand are still alive after the 50 point to 16 thrashing as they travel to Wollongong to take on the Dragons. Canberra have one more clash before they can forget all about 2013 against the Sharks.

Match Details
New Zealand Warriors 50 Canberra Raiders 18
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Crowd: 0
Halftime Score: New Zealand Warriors 20-12

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Shaun Johnson
2 points - Thomas Leuluai
1 point - Manu Vatuvei

Tries: Elijah Taylor, Shaun Johnson (3), Manu Vatuvei (3), Simon Mannering, Ngani Laumape
Field Goals:
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (7/9)
Penalty Goals:

Tries: Jarrod Croker (3)
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (2/2), Anthony Milford (1/1)
Penalty Goals:

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Warriors: 1. Kevin Locke 2. Jerome Ropati 3. Dane Nielsen 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Thomas Leuluai 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Sam Rapira 9. Nathan Friend 10. Suaia Matagi 11. Elijah Taylor 12. Simon Mannering (c) 13. Todd Lowrie
Interchange: 14. Ben Matulino 15. Jacob Lillyman 16. Feleti Mateo 17. Dominique Peyroux 18. Ngani Laumape

Raiders: 1. Reece Robinson 2. Bill Tupou 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Thompson 5. Sami Sauiluma 6. Terry Campese (c) 7. Anthony Milford 8. David Shillington 9. Josh McCrone 10. Brett White 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joel Edwards 13. Paul Vaughan
Interchange: 14. Glen Buttriss 15. Jake Foster 16. Dane Tilse 17. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 18. Matt McIlwrick
Welcome to Mt Smart Stadium, hosting a vital clash tonight between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders. The loser tonight can start planning the mad Monday and the winner stays in the finals roulette.

WAR: There is only change for the home side, with Ngani Laumape and Jerome Ropati swapping on the wing and centre respectively.

CAN: Simple change, Tom Learoyd-Lars has pulled out being replaced by Matt McIlwrick.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Canberra Raiders U-20 side who have been crowned Holden Cup Minor Premiers after defeating the Warriors 26-16.
Both teams are out onto the field, Raiders wearing their white away strip while the Warriors have a retro strip presenting the 1995 side.
We are in place, Raiders kick-off and here we go!
1 min: One minute in and PENALTY Warriors Hurrell wasn't allowed to get up quick enough.
Scored by Elijah Taylor. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
Slight of hand there that David Copperfield would be proud of, Thomas Leuluai puts a nice short ball onto Elijah Taylor's chest to go through and score. Johnson puts the conversion over.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
11 min: Whoops - Kevin Locke tried to recover a kick from Bill Tupou but slips going into touch.
14 min: Canberra have their first PENALTY due to a slow play the ball.
16 min: Good vision from Josh McCrone there, to stab a grubber through and trap Hurrell in the in-goal.
Scored by Jarrod Croker. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
Croker found some space and gunned past both Hurrell and Laumape to stretch out and score! He steps up and puts it straight as an arrow to convert.
6 all
21 min: PENALTY Raiders - Warriors offside.
22 min: Milford delays the pass too long and obstructs a Warriors defender. PENALTY to the home side.
23 min: Followed by another PENALTY - Second effort.
VIDEO REFEREE: We're going upstairs from a Johnson errant pass before Jarrod Croker ran the required distance.
Scored by Jarrod Croker. Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Shaun Johnson with a mystifying pass goes to no one, allowing Jarrod Croker to swoop and ran the rest of the distance for the TRY. Croker steps up and has all of the Raiders points thus far.
Canberra Raiders 12-6
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.
Manu started the movement from a powerful kick return so fitting that he finished it off! Leuluai stabs one through and they were cueing up for it! Vatuvei put his hands on it and gets the four pointer! Johnson misses his second attempt.
Canberra Raiders 12-10
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
Quick hands there! It went down the shortside, Leuluai to Mateo to Locke to Vatuvei who just puts the foot down to beat Reece Robinson. An easier attempt for Johnson and he puts it over.
New Zealand Warriors 16-12
35 min: The Warriors are rolling now! Thomas Leuluai puts on a lovely kick that forces Robinson to submit for a dropout.
37 min: Warriors jammed in defense there as Campese tried to replicate the quick hands from the Warriors third but it only goes to the sideline.
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.
HAT-TRICK for Manu Vatuvei! A nice backline play gave Vatuvei the space and he stormed into it, taking Robinson with him to plant the ball down! Johnson from out wide, just pushes it wide.
New Zealand Warriors 20-12
40 min: HALFTIME :: Warriors put some scintillating football together to lead 20-12 heading into the break.
41 min: Back underway here - Warriors kick off!
45 min: PENALTY Raiders - Johnson holding down too long.
Scored by Shaun Johnson. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
Warriors are refusing to die with the ball here! They got it to their halfback Johnson who steps once, twice and has a straight line to the tryline. Johnson converts his own try.
New Zealand Warriors 26-12
52 min: Mateo trying to play at the line again, throws it forward.
Scored by Shaun Johnson. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
Raiders trying to get to their centres but it is plucked out of the air by Johnson who out-paces Robinson to score. Johnson converts.
New Zealand Warriors 32-12
Scored by Shaun Johnson. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
Shaun Johnson can do it all! Off some good runs from Mateo and Vatuvei, Johnson kicks for himself and beats everyone else for the TRY. Johnson has converted his three tries.
New Zealand Warriors 38-12
VIDEO REFEREE: Jarrod Croker from some bizzare play might have a HAT-TRICK.
59 min: RED LIGHTS.. NO TRY! Obstruction. Nathan Friend was obstructed by a Canberra player ruining a great piece of play starting from the Campese chip kick.
60 min: PENALTY Warriors - the locals love that.
61 min: The Raiders defense opened like Sydney heads again but the pass for Peyroux is dropped.
Scored by Simon Mannering. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
Johnson turns provider to set Mannering up for a try. Johnson converts.
New Zealand Warriors 44-12
65 min: Hurrell drops it off the kick-off.
Scored by Ngani Laumape. Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.
A nice run-around put Laumape away like he was in a rocket amongst some feeble tackles from the Raiders. Johnson brings up the 50!
New Zealand Warriors 50-12
73 min: Raiders spill it and they just want the fulltime siren to come.
75 min: Kevin Locke misjudges the bomb, knocking it on.
Scored by Jarrod Croker. Conversion attempt by Anthony Milford successful.
It's a hat-trickathon here! From the scrum, Milford kicks through for Croker to register the third hat-trick in the game. Milford steps in to convert and misses.
New Zealand Warriors 50-18
80 min: FULLTIME :: Warriors have destroyed Canberra 50 points to 16.