Lack of luck for the Warrior’s
The score did not represent the game. The Warrior’s were true contenders throughout the entire 80 minutes by challenging the Raiders physically, and at times both forward packs were pushed to their limits . The Warrior’s were off to a strong start by scoring the first try of the game and going into the second half with the lead 8-6 and with 67% possession. Although the Warrior’s continued to play well, everything was against them in the second half. There were multiple penalties and decisions that were not in the Warrior’s favour which had a considerable impact on the game. Although the Warrior’s tried their best, the bounce of the ball never seemed to go their way which allowed the Raiders to take the lead, the win and end the second half with 55% possession.
A lot of good to come out of a loss
The Warrior’s may have taken a loss but in no way should fans be disappointed by last night’s game. The team have come a long way since the beginning of the season including the improved performances from individual players. There has been a lot of talk about how good the Warrior’s have been looking in recent games but the match against the Raiders was going to be the true test of how far they have come since the Raiders pack is arguably one of the strongest in the competition at the moment. The Warrior’s made them work for the win by matching them in the forwards and crossing the try line multiple times although two were disallowed. If Warrior’s fans take anything away from round 7, it should not be that it was just another loss for the team, it should be a glimpse of hope that maybe the Warrior’s are in with a chance this year if they continue to improve.
Outstanding performance from Junior Paulo
As expected, the Raiders forwards came out in full force on Saturday night and managed to hang in there even when the Warrior’s attack left them exhausted. Junior Paulo was a stand out player and was awarded man of the match and rightly so. Paulo made an impressive 22 runs and 185 metres, two offloads and 19 tackles. His size and determination meant Paulo was able to steamroll over Warriors defenders and push the ball further up the field each time to allow the Raiders more opportunities to score points which they eventually did. The Warrior’s certainly put up a good fight but the Raiders forwards were too big and too strong for the Warrior’s to stop.
True Viking spirit comes through for the Raiders
The Raiders started off slow as they had a poor 33% possession rate in the first half which meant they hardly had any opportunities to put points on the board. The forwards were exhausted from the amount of defensive work they had to do which was very impressive. Even though they only had 6 points going into the second half, the Raiders spirits were still high and they managed to hang in there until pressure got to the Warriors and they were able score try after try while turning the tables with a 55% possession rate in the second half. After their flogging of the Gold Coast Titans 42-16 in round 6, the Raiders had to work hard for this win but they were able to hang in there and hold the Warrior’s out until they had an opportunity to score points and win the game.
Canberra Raiders 20
Tries: Joseph Leilua (2), Josh Hodgson
Goals: Jarrod Croker (4)
New Zealand Warriors 8
Tries: Ryan Hoffman
Goals: Shaun Johnson (2)