Raiders hold off Warriors’ challenge

Canberra Raiders held off a tough challenge from New Zealand Warriors, coming from 6-8 down at the interval to win 20-8 in the Australian capital.

The Warriors were quickly off the mark, with former Wigan star Ryan Hoffman touching down after six minutes, with Shaun Johnson adding the conversion.

The Raiders equalised through Joey Leilua, with Jarrod Croker adding the conversion and the only other score of the first half was a Johnson penalty on 22 minutes.

The Warriors’ tactics had been to put young Raiders winger Nick Cotric under pressure with a series of high kicks, but the youngster handled them well. And the Raiders had Croker to thank on 37 minutes when he pulled off a wonder tackle on the line to prevent Roger Tuivasa-Sheck touching down.

In the second half the Raiders drew level with a Croker penalty on 51 minutes, and they took the lead eight minutes later when Leilua scored his second try, although this time Croker missed the conversion.

The Raiders were firmly in the driving seat when Josh Hodgson scored a try from dummy-half on 66 minutes, and Croker’s conversion gave them a ten-point margin.

Croker completed the scoring with a penalty when Bodene Thompson was put on report for a forearm on Aidan Sezer

Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton, 2 Nick Cotric, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Blake Austin, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Junior Paulo, 9 Josh Hodgson, 10 Shannon Boyd, 11 Josh Papalii, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Joseph Tapine; Interchange: 14 Adam Clydsdale, 15 Luke Bateman, 17 Iosia Soliola, 18 Dunamis Lui.

Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 Blake Ayshford, 3 David Fusitua, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Kieran Foran, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Bodene Thompson, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Simon Mannering; Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache, 15 Charlie Gubb, 16 Ligi Sao, 17 Sam Lisone.

A full review of all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express