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NRL match review: Canberra Raiders 6 vs New Zealand Warriors 18

Scoreboard

Canberra Raiders 6
Tries: Sisa Waqa (33m)
Goals: Jarrod Croker (1 conversion, 35min)

New Zealand Warriors 18
Tries: Manu Vatuvei (26m), Solomone Kata (41m), Ryan Hoffman (44m)
Goals: Shaun Johnson (3 conversions, 27m, 42m, 45m)

Match Review

The New Zealand Warriors have collected their first points of the 2015 season courtesy of an 18-6 victory over the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Sunday night.

The win may have come at a high cost however, with Shaun Johnson hurting his wrist in the game, fullback Sam Tomkins rolling his ankle, and captain Simon Mannering was placed on report for a swinging arm on Sisa Waqa.

With a greater share of possession throughout the match (54%), the score line showed the grit in the Raiders defence, however several mistakes cost the home side dearly.

The Canberra side’s staunch defence was required early in the match, with the New Zealanders pressing the line frequently. Raider’s fullback Jack Wighton first tackled Manu Vatuvei over the sideline as he looked to score in the corner, before Warrior’s five eight Chad Townsend found open pasture only to be tackled without support.

New Zealand again looked set to score, this time through Ben Matulino, who was centimetres short of grounding the ball on the chalk.

The pressure proved too much after 26 minutes however, when Vatuvei received the ball after it was put through the hands from a scrum, the ‘beast’ this time finding the corner. Johnson converted from out wide to give the New Zealand outfit a 6-nil lead.

The Raiders however hit back just seven minutes later, thanks to a spectacular grab from Waqa, who flew high and planted the ball successfully, the score remaining six all at the break.

The second half started in abysmal fashion for the home side when forward Paul Vaughn dropped a pass following the kick off. The mistake proved costly, with the Warriors then camped in the strike zone. Sam Tomkins put a nice step past a rushing Raiders defence to set up centre Solomone Kata to bag his first NRL try.

Just minutes later, the travelling side went over again, thanks to new recruit Ryan Hoffman, who looked more like a winger than a second rower as he outleapt Wighton to claim a four pointer, his second in two outings for the Warriors.

And while the home fans may have been dreading the floodgates opening, the rains never came, with the score remaining at 18-6 at the fulltime whistle.

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