The Canberra Raiders have continued their strong start to 2020 with a 14-point win over the hapless Warriors at Cbus Super Stadium today.
Both sides arrived to the foreign location of the Gold Coast after travel restrictions meant the game couldn't be played in New Zealand.
The Warriors probably started the better of the two teams despite an unforced error from big man Leeson Ah Mau in the very first set of the game. They dominated both possession and field position in the first half, coming close on many occasions but lacking the final punch necessary to breach the strong Raiders defence.
The Raiders hung on and took full advantage once they got the ball in attacking territory just after the 20 minute mark. Jarrod Croker got the ball around 20 metres out and made a good run beating multiple defenders and then linking up with Elliott Whitehead via an offload to send the English second rower over for his first try of the year.
That was all she wrote scoring-wise for the first half, although the Raiders did have a chance to extend their lead shortly after Whitehead's try as Nick Cotric found himself in open space - and only had to draw the defender and pass to an open Jarrod Croker, but he failed to do so and dropped the ball while trying to play it.
The Raiders came storming out of the blocks to start the second half, scoring two tries in the opening seven minutes after the resumption. The first came off the back of a clever grubber from Josh Hodgson that was dived on in the in goal by Sia Soliola. The Warriors then had a prime opportunity to hit back, but Adam Blair made an unforced error that Canberra fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was able to clean up and get his side on the front foot. The Raiders scored 2 tackles later through Bailey Simonsson who was on the end of a Croker pass that summed up a 4-on-1 situation well.
The game became a bit of an arm wrestle after that, with the Warriors chances of winning slowly trickling away. They broke their scoring duck in the 75th minute courtesy of a penalty try, where it was ruled that Kodi Nikorima would have got to the ball first had it not been for an infringement committed by Canberra half George Williams. The last five minutes seemed to last an eternity, however the Raiders weren't done.
Curtis Scott got himself on the board as a Raider, gathering in a George Williams grubber in the 79th minute to extend the winning margin from 10 points to 14 points.
The Raiders host the Dragons at home next week while it doesn't get any easier for the Warriors, who travel to Brookvale to take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.