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The New Zealand Warriors have walked away with two competition points they desperately needed after a tough yet entertaining 26-18 victory at Ericsson Stadium today.
The Warriors started the game on fire, scoring a try through Logan Swann to lead early, before dropping their bundle somewhat and allowing Canberra back into the contest. The Green Machine clicked into gear and posted tries to Wiki, with Monaghan bagging a double.
New Zealand hit back late in the half with another big effort from Logan Swann seeing the team to the sheds with the Raiders leading 18-12.
But the second half was a different story, with the Warriors taking the field showing more concentration and commitment than the visitors. An entertaining display prompted some great tries to Villasanti, Tony and Toopi leaving the Raiders scoreless in the second half.
Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Year Awards
3 - L Swann (Warriors) 2 - B Webb (Warriors) 1 - M Monaghan (Raiders)
Sunday 22 June 2003 2:00 PM Local 12.00pm AEST Ericsson Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne Scorers: Warriors 26 Tries: Swann 2, Villasanti, Tony, Toopi Goals: Jones 3/5 Raiders 18 Tries: Monaghan 2, Wiki Goals: Schifcofske 3/4
By the clock:
1st half - Warriors kick-off
8 min: Warriors pressuring Canberra's line numerous times but coming up short. Both sides look in good touch, with the Warriors having the bulk of the possession and the Raiders defending well.
10 min: Logan Swann scores under the posts after a deft kick down the right side sees winger Henry Fa'afili regather and pass back inside to a rampaging Swann who beats the fullback with a clever dummy. Warriors lead 4-0.
11 min: Stacey Jones makes quick work of an easy attempt and stretches the lead to 6-0.
15 min: Raiders hit back through a try to the irrepressable Ruben Wiki. Scores back to 6-4 to the Warriors.
16 min: Schifcofske pushes the ball wide to the left of the upright. Warriors 6 Canberra 4.
18 min: Brad Drew works a clever blind side play and delivers a cut out pass to Monaghan who crosses in the corner enabling the Raiders to cpature the lead. Raiders 8 Warriors 6.
19 min: Schifcofske belts a cracker over from the sideline to extend the lead to 10-6.
22 min: Monaghan is over again after a crafty kick from McClinden deflects off a Warriors player and is fired out the backline for a try in the corner. Raiders 14 Warriors 6.
24 min: Schifcofske kicks another great one from 5 metres in from the sideline. canberra lead 16-6.
28 min: Logan Swann goes in for his second after being put in a gap by a short pass from Motu Tony. Pass a little questionable, but the points are on the board and the Warriors are back in the game, trailing 16-10.
29 min: Jones strikes it well and cuts the Raiders lead to 16-12.
39 min: Schifcofske kicks a penalty goal after a tackling infringement to take the lead out to 18-12 just on the stroke of half time.
Both teams playing good footy, but Canberra is just edging out New Zealand at the moment. Monaghan for the Raiders and Swann for the Warriors have a double each, with Ruben Wiki proving the difference for the visitors. Ball control appears sharp from both sides, but the Warriors seem to be lacking a bit of concentration after taking an early lead and failing to consolidate. This allowed the Raiders back into the game and they have taken full advantage of better field position.
2nd half - Raiders kick-off
44 min: The Warriors are in through a bustling run by Tookey who pops a sensational short ball to a steaming Villasanti ten metres out from the line. Villasanti proceeds to run over the back peddling Raiders defence and score. Raiders 18 Warriors 16.
45 min: Jones converts to level the scores at 18 a piece.
54 min: Tony carves up the Raiders defence on the left hand side to score a four-pointer in the corner. Warriors now lead 22-18 with a difficult kick to come.
55 min: Jones misses his most difficult attempt of the day, and the scores reamin Warriors 22 Raiders 18.
Crowd figure of 18,375 not a bad effort.
66 min: Toopi goes in out wide after a kick from Tony and some scrappy play gives him some room down the short side. Warriors now lead 26-18.
67 min: Jones hits the crossbar in an unbelievable kick from the sideline. Score remains 26-18 in favour of the Warriors.
74 min: Try disallowed to Villasanti after an illegal shot on Monaghan.
77 min: Warriors look assured of victory after another attacking raid by the Raiders ends in disappointment.
The Warriors have broken a recent form slump with an up-beat and impressive victory over the Raiders by 26-18. Canberra just didn't show up in the second half, with the Warriors coming from behind to snatch the 2 points in an entertaining encounter.