Brad Inger reviews the Warriors vs Raiders clash. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Sean O’Sullivan (1), Rocco Berry (18), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (23)
Goals: Reece Walsh (2, 24)
Tries: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (38), Sebastian Kris (42, 65), Jordan Rapana (72), Hudson Young (80)
Goals: Jordan Rapana (39, 65, 79, 80)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Jordan Rapana (Raiders)
2 pts – Josh Papalii (Raiders)
1 pt – Wayde Egan (Warriors)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
You could feel the pressure as both teams ran out onto the pitch; a win here would keep the Raiders playoff aspirations alive, while a victory to the Warriors could also give them a sniff of the top eight if other games fall in their favour. The New Zealand side wasted little time, scoring off their first set after Wayde Egan scooted out of dummy half before sending Sean O’Sullivan away for the first try with a pass that did look to have travelled forward. Canberra survived the quick start and after earning a penalty, found themselves deep in the Warriors RedZone; they were unable to convert their chance into points but did earn a repeat set but lost possession. After the quick start, the game started to settle with both sides trading sets, with neither gaining any advantage due to unforced errors. An error led to the next scoring play when the Warriors chipped the ball into the Raiders in-goal, where Bailey Simonsson failed to secure it, allowing Rocco Berry to pounce on the loose ball. Minutes later, Simonsson was under pressure again, mistiming a kick defusal which allowed Dallin Watene-Zeleaniak to cross for the Warriors third try of the evening and the exit of the young Raiders winger. The New Zealand side continued to pile on the pressure, but the Raiders scored next after earning a six again call and finding themselves in good field positions. They looked to be out of ideas with the ball in hand, but a quick pass to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad saw him spin his way over the line. With time running out in the first half, Canberra made one last-ditch effort to reduce the Warriors lead, almost going the field’s length before the New Zealand side cleaned up the loose ball in the nick of time to end the half leading 16-6.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 16 Canberra Raiders 6Embed from Getty Images
Canberra fired out of the gates with a strong set before following that up with a solid defensive effort, not allowing the Warriors to get out of their own half. The Raiders looked more lethal in comparison to their first-half display and started to throw a few offloads, which started to cause the New Zealand side plenty of headaches. With momentum building, the Raiders were over once again when Sebastian Kris barged his way over in the corner. The Warriors looked to be against the ropes, with the Raiders relentlessly bombarding them with strong runs, but the New Zealand managed to scramble their way out of trouble. An injury to Chad Townsend was a huge concern for the Warriors as his kicking game was crucial to their first-half dominance; their attack lacked direction as they struggled to make a dent in Canberras line. The Raiders absorbed some attacking sets from the New Zealand side before getting back into the groove with a nice simple passing play, going through multiple hands before Kris crossed for his second try of the night to see the game level with 15 minutes to go. The Warriors started to show some fight with some big runs but let themselves down with poor handling. Canberra had a chance to take the lead after Jordan Rapana was hit high, but he missed his attempt at the sticks. On their next set Elliott Whitehead also was given a penalty after being hit high; the Raiders elected to run the ball but dropped it a few tackles in. The Warriors surged up the field and came close to scoring, but Canberra shut them down. On their next set, the Warriors attempted a field goal via Reece Walsh, but it soared to the left, gifting the Raiders a seven tackle set which saw the Green Machine march up the field before sending Rapana over in what was almost an identical situation that he was in the last time these sides faced each other. He would not be denied this time around as he got his side the lead for the first time in the contest with only a minute to go. The New Zealand side attempted a short kickoff and came within a fingers grasp of claiming it; Canberra took advantage of the field position and twisted the knife further by strolling up the field before Hudson Young scored the Raiders fourth try if the half as they keep their season alive with a fantastic second-half display with a 28-16 come from behind victory.
FULL-TIME: Canberra Raiders 28 New Zealand Warriors 16
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised