Warriors defend their Fortress to overcome the Raiders 20-16

The conditions were cold an wet in Auckland but a galliant effort from the Warriors held off the strong spirited Canberra Raiders to win 20-16
Early mistake from Canberra winger Nick Cotric gave the warriors early opportunity deep in the Canberras half. Warriors asked the early questions but were a little impatient. Both sides showing strong defence in the initial arm wrestle but an early 40/20 by Hodgson the Canberra rake catching the warriors off guard giving Canberra an opportunity for early points which resulted in a superb carry from Canberras Big man Josh Papalii smashing through the warriors defensive line for a try to put the Raiders first points on the board and converted by Sam Williams.. Warriors could not capitalise on early opportunities through uncharacteristic errors. But they got their first points through Warriors pocket rocket centre Solomona Kata by a poor defensive read by the Canberra raiders centre Joey Leilua to burst through score for the warriors first try. Another Canberra error lead to a miracle ball by warriors centre Peta Hiku created a try for the warriors leading try scorer David Fusitua for the warriors second try. The Warriors at this stage were in control winning the battle up front but Canberra crawled their way back with a converted penalty to even up the game at 8-8 all before the half.

Warriors shoot out of the blocks with a great set piece from the warriors to put Warriors Flyer Peta Heka to get the first points in the second half also converted by Shaun Johnson warriors ahead 14-8 but soon after the Raiders answered with some brilliance shown by raiders winger Jordan Rapana to keep the ball alive in the warriors end goal for Raiders back rower Elliotte Whitemen pouncing on a loose ball to score the try for the Canberra Raiders. The Warriors were starting to loose their way after a strong start out from the break. The warriors were giving the Raiders too many opportunity to come back in the game.

As the game was drawing to the end the Warriors gained back control with a bit of possession and managed to post a penalty goal.. soon after the warriors edged forward on the score board with another penalty goal. As the clock was winding down the warriors were caught off guard with pressure applied from the Raiders in a scrum and forced the warriors to make a mistake which put the raiders in for one last chance to win the game. 

Clever play by the Canberra halfback Sam Williams looked to have stolen the game with a try but a late call by the pocket referee denied the Canberra raiders try in the dying minutes. Warriors will head into the finals.    

Raiders
  • Josh Papalii (Try)
  • Elliotte Whiteman (Try)
  • Sam William (Conversion)
  • Sam William (Conversion)
  • Sam William (Penalty) 

Warriors 
  • Solomona Kata (Try)
  • David Fusitua (Try)
  • Peta Hiku (Try)
  • Shaun Johnson (Conversion ) 
  • Shaun Johnson (Penalty)
  • Shaun Johnson (Penalty)

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