Raiders comeback to beat Warriors despite injury worries

The Canberra Raiders were keen to keep the pressure on fourth-placed Parramatta, as they looked to pick up a win against the New Zealand Warriors at GIO Stadium.

Despite not being able to make the Finals, the Warriors started the more impressive of the two sides.

On the ten minute mark, A fifth tackle kick from Kodi Nikorima looked to be too heavy but Peta Hiku chased ahead, gathered the ball and grounded while sliding on his knees.

The Raiders hit back five minutes later though.

Jack Wighton threw a flat pass across Hudson Young for Jarrad Croker to latch onto and break through the line.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looked to stop the centre, and in the tackle they two players clashed heads before Croker grounded.

It wasn’t all good news for the Raiders though, as George Williams failed his Head Injury Assessment after an earlier head clash.

John Bateman was penalised for interfering at the ruck just after the 20-minute mark, which allowed Chanel Harris-Tavita to add the two points and give the lead back to the Warriors.

The Warriors were awarded another penalty in the 25th minute as Josh Papalii was pinged for holding Lachlan Burr back into the scrum.

Papalii was claiming an elbow in the scrum, which was missed by the officials, but Harris-Tavita pushed the visitors four-points ahead.

Just a few minutes later, Wighton was then sent to the sin-bin after beigng called offside, which was the fourth infringement in a minute in defence inside the 10-metre line.

This left the Raiders without both half-backs and also Jarrad Croker who had yet to return from his HIA.

With a man advantage, Nikorima chose to run the ball and pop the ball flat to Hike to spin over for his second.

The Warriors were pushing for their third try, but Sami Valemei picked off an offload from Jazz Tevaga and raced 90-metres up the field to dive over in the corner to cut the gap.

With just under three minutes until the break, the Raiders took the lead.

On the right-edge, Elliot Whitehead dribbled a kick ahead which bounced back off Tuivasa-Sheck into the second-rowers hand, he then kicked back infield for the onrushing support players.

One of those players was Hudson Young who managed to control the ball with his foot and pick up as he tripped and slid over the line.

Wighton had returned to the field just after the try, but dropped the ball in the in-goal area, forcing a goal-line drop-out.

The Raiders managed to hold out, and took a slender two-point lead into the break.

HALF-TIME: Canberra Raiders 16-14 New Zealand Warriors

Eight minutes into the second-half, Bateman looked to have picked up a bad shoulder injury, but on second viewing it was a Jordan Rapana who trapped the second-rowers elbow into the tackle causing it to hyder-extend.

The Warriors were in good attacking position but another interception by Whitehead turned the game back around.

He released Rapana, who managed to get up to the 30-metre line.

Following a quick play-the-ball, the ball was shifted left through Wighton, Young and Croker to Valemei who was too strong for Hiku and powered over the line.

With 25 minutes to go, Tom Ale was penalised for offside inside the 10-metre line, and Jarrad Croker converted from in front of the posts to make it an eight-point lead.

Injuries began to rack up for both sides as Tuivasa-Sheck picked up a hamstring injury, and Whitehead spending a good few minutes receiving treatment after a big tackle by Tohu Harris.

With 17 minutes left, Peta Hiku seemed to waltz through on the right-edge, but the try was called back for obstruction, which denied the centre his hat-trick try.

In the 73rd minute, good hands from the Raiders worked an opening for Rapana to escape on the right-edge.

With just Hiku to beat, the centre passed the ball to Nick Cotric to dive over and score a well-deserved try.

FULL-TIME: Canberra Raiders 26-14 New Zealand Warriors


Canberra Raiders

Nicoll-Klokstad, Valemei, Croker, Rapana, Cotric, Wighton, Williams, Papalii, Havili, Lui, Bateman, Whitehead, Tapine

Interchanges: Starling, Sutton, Young, Harawira-Naera

Tries: Croker, Valemei (2), Young, Cotric

Goals: Croker (3/6)

Sin-Bin: Wighton

New Zealand Warriors

Tuivasa-Sheck, Pompey, Keighran, Hiku, Perham, Nikorima, Harris-Tavita, Burr, Lawton, Harris, Papali’i, Murchie, Tevaga

Interchanges: Egan, Blair, Ale, Curran

Tries: Hiku (2)

Goals: Harris-Tavita (3/4)

Referee: C. Sutton

Touch Judges: Z. Przeklasa-Adamski, D. Oultram

Video Referee: S. Clark

Image Source: @NRL (twitter)

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