New Zealand Warriors Try Scorers: Matulino, Hurrell, Johnson 2, Laumape, Tomkins, Vatuvei 2, Bukuya
Goals: Johnson 9/9
Canberra Raiders Try Scorers: Crocker 2
Goals: Crocker 2/2
Canberra Raiders were on the back of another hammering, this time at the hands of New Zealand Warriors as Shaun Johnson scored 26 points in a 54-12 home win.
Konrad Hurrell was a menace throughout with his storming runs down the Raiders left edge and the combination of Tomkins and Johnson shone in a flawless Warriors display.
Anthony Millford and Terry Campese came up with some moments of magic in the game but it wasn’t enough to hold the ruthless home side at bay.
The Warriors opened the scoring early on as Townsend found Ban Matulino who hit a great line from ten metres out to slice through some poor Canberra defence.
Konrad Hurrell produced a moment of magic when the huge centre went flying down the Raiders left edge after Johnson picked up an offload and there was no stopping Hurrell as he rounded his opposite number and barged over despite Millford’s best efforts. Johnson converted from out wide to make it 12-0 after ten minutes.
Jarrod Crocker was on the end of a big Konrad Hurrell hit and he couldn’t keep hold of the ball as he coughed up possession. Off the back of the scrum they made great metres and forced a drop out from a precise Townsend kick.
Canberra were doing well to keep the Warriors out and they were given a breather when Manu Vatuvei couldn’t hold onto a Tomkins pass.
They went into self-destruct mode straight after though as they tried to keep the ball alive in their own half and Shaun Johnson was on hand to intercept and race under the sticks. He converted and the Raiders needed to get on the scoreboard and get back in the game.
The resulting kick off was a clever one from Campese as the Warriors couldn’t take it first time and the Raiders forced a drop out from it. It was the first real chance for the Raiders and Jarrod Crocker came up with a try as another good kick from Campese was taken well by the centre who out jumped the defence to score. He then converted his own try as the Raiders attempted to change the momentum.
A hectic set followed soon after as Canberra started to get more of the ball in the Warriors half. They came close twice in the same set but just couldn’t get over the try line.
It didn’t take long for the Warriors to extend their lead though, as a great set play from a scrum as Ngani Laumape scored in the corner off the back of Johnson and Tomkins linking up. Another great kick from out wide by Johnson extended the lead back to 18 points.
The sides went into the sheds with the score 24-6 in favour of the home side and Canberra were in need of a famous Ricky Stewart pep talk to come out in the second 40 and turn the game around.
Canberra came out pumped and forced a Vatuvei error after just two minutes to get a set from 20 out. They forced a repeat set but when they made a mess of a Campese kick Shaun Johnson was on hand to pick up the loose ball and race the full length to score his second of the game.
The Warriors scored again from the next set as Johnson found Laumape on the right edge and the winger came up with a brilliant pass to find Bukuya and he drew the fullback to put Tomkins in to finish off the break.
Vatuvei wasn’t having the greatest of games but he crossed next in the corner thanks to a precise cut out ball from fullback Sam Tomkins.
The onslaught continued as Bukuya was in support of Hurrell who stormed onto a brilliant tip on from Tomkins and the second rower finished off another great Warriors try.
Canberra’s night was summed up when Anthony Millford came up with a dazzling break and they nearly came up with the try of the game because of it, only for the ball to be lost close to the try line.
Sam Tomkins came up with another incredible pass to put Ben Henry in space and he fed Vatuvei who came up with a second four pointer to bring New Zealand past the 50 point mark.
Crocker scored all of Canberra’s points and crossed for a consolation with the last play of the game as he pounced onto a kick through. He kicked the conversion to make the final score 54-12.