Canberra's top four aspirations remain intact after they scored a tough 26-14 win over the Warriors at GIO Stadium today, however they could have a few players carrying injuries into next week.
Winger Semi Valemei copped a pair of strong head knocks which forced him off the field late in the game, John Bateman picked up an elbow injury but played on, George Williams and Jarrod Croker copped head knocks in the first half, forcing the former off the field for the rest of the game, Josh Papalii requiring strapping to his right thigh, while Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Elliott Whitehead both copped some heavy knocks in the second half.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Kodi Nikorima found open space with a nice grubber into the Raiders in-goal where Peta Hiku slid in knees first, regathered and grounded the ball just before the dead ball line. Chanel Harris-Tavita converted.
The Raiders hit back five minutes later with a simple four pointer to Jarrod Croker, who got 1 on 1 with his defender, then bumped out of the tackle attempt to score, copping a knock to his head in the collision. Croker converted and then came off for an HIA.
Harris-Tavita kicked a penalty goal in the 20th minute to reclaim the lead.
A four minute period of Raiders brain snaps saw Harris-Tavita kick another penalty goal before the referee lost his patience and gave Jack Wighton 10 minutes in the sin bin.
In the 29th minute, the Warriors extended their lead further when Hiku snared his second try after Kodi Nikorima imitated Benji Marshall, looking out the back while throwing a short, flat ball to the lead runner Hiku, who fell over the line in a tackle to score. Harris-Tavita failed to convert a somewhat easy attempt at goal.
Three minutes later, the Warriors were pressing the Raiders line once again, but a nothing play saw an offload hit the deck. Semi Valemei swooped in and cleaned up the loose ball 10 metres from his own line and then raced 90 metres to score untouched. Croker's sideline conversion was waved away.
Four minutes later and the Raiders levelled the scores after Elliott Whitehead grubbered. The ball bounced off Tuivasa-Sheck and went back to Whitehead, who kicked it again into the middle, where Hudson Young dived to juggle the ball, but managed to control it and score under the posts. Croker converted from in front to give Canberra a 2 point lead at the break
In the 51st minute, Tuivasa-Sheck busted through the middle, getting to within 5 metres of the Raiders line and then offloaded, but it was Intercepted by Wighton who runs to halfway, linked with Jordan Rapana who was then tackled 15 metres inside the Warriors half. On the next play, the Raiders quickly shifted the ball left to Croker, who took the ball to the line before producing a flick pass out the back to Valemei, who ran back infield and through the defender to score his second try. Croker's sideline conversion was again no good.
Less than 2 minutes later, Croker added a penalty goal to give the Raiders an 8 point lead.
Some sloppy play crept into the game as did a number of stoppages to attend to injured players.
Canberra put the game to bed in the 73rd minute when Chanel Harris-Tevita made a break, linked with Rapana, who ran and then drew the final defender before passing to Nick Cotric, who pulls out a spectacular dive to score in the right corner. Croker again failed to convert from the sideline. The Raiders running out 26-14 winners.