Round 3 Review: Raiders v Warriors

Saturday's triple header started off with an intriguing clash between the Canberra Raiders (0-2) up against the New Zealand Warriors (1-1). Canberra came in surprisingly with no changes to their starting line-up, as BJ Leilua managed to pass the tests on his ankle. The Warriors only made the one change to their line up, as Agnatius Paasi started for Ligi Sao.

It did not take long for the home side to make their mark, with a mix of some attacking enterprise from the Raiders and some poor discipline from the Warriors. 4 penalties in five minutes saw the Warriors get the official warning, and 2 defensive sets later, Adam Blair was sent to the bin for a shot after the pass on Sam Williams.

It took one more set for the Raiders to get on the scoreboad, with Sivili Havili scoring from dummyhalf for his second try of the year. Jarrod Croker converted to make it 6-0 after 8 minutes, with the next try coming awfully quickly.

The numbers game was coming back to bite the Warriors, with Elliot Whitehead scoring after some expansive play on the last tackle by the Green Machine. Iosia Soliola had the crucial offload to get Whitehead the ball, and Croker made no mistake yet again as Canberra ran out to a 12-0 lead.

The possession started to sway back to the Warriors, and they managed to hit back before Blair was on the field through Peta Hiku. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson combined to provide Hiku his try, with Johnson converting to make it 12-6 after 16 minutes.

It stayed that way for the majority of the half, with both teams going close but unable to get back over the white stripe. It wasn't until the last 30 seconds that we saw the last points of the half, with a Sam Williams field goal giving the Raiders a 13-6 lead at the half.

The Warriors came out flying in the second half, with Tuivasa-Sheck and Hiku causing issues for the Canberra defense. All of that came to no avail, as a huge effort from Nick Cotric was rewarded with a try after breaking out of at least 3 tackles on the try line to plant the ball down. Croker missed that shot to make it 17-6, but a penalty goal 4 minutes later took the lead to 13.

The Warriors were causing all sorts of issues with Canberra, who were returning serve with huge plays of their own. Try saving tackles from Tuisvasa-Sheck were crucial, while Soliola made a huge tackle to stop the Warriors fullback from going the length of the field with 10 to go.

It was a full out game of attack for the last ten minutes, with Canberra nearly going the length of the field before Soliola's pass was intercepted. The Warriors had the majority of the chances late on and Isaac Luke was able to scoot over for his first of the season with just 3 minutes to go. Shaun Johnson converted to make it 19-18 with just under 3 minutes to go.

The Warriors only needed one more invitation to tie the game up with a field goal 2 minutes from time to make it 19-19. The Warriors went screaming down their right edge to try and get in position for another shot, and it happened! Shaun Johnson chipped over a field goal from 30 metres out to make it 21-20 with just 36 seconds left.

Canberra tried to chip it and regather off the kick off, but that failed as the Warriors sealed an away win from behind to make it 3-0 while Canberra are now 0-3. The Warriors and the Raiders are both in Sydney next weekend, as New Zealand take on the Roosters while the Raiders are at Manly.



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