Warriors' Konrad Hurrell on the charge. Day One of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 15th February 2014. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

Raiders fall to Warriors in opening Nines Clash

The Canberra Raiders put in a spirited second half, but couldn’t drag back a half time lead to New Zealand, losing 25-14 in their opening match of the Auckland Nines.

Captain Jarrod Croker got the team off to the perfect start when his kick-off found the sideline and the Raiders capitalised when Mitch Cornish opened the scoring. He couldn’t convert but the Raiders led 4-0.

The Warriors hit back though soon after when Glen Fisiiahi scored when the Warriors ran the ball on the last tackle and the Warriors led 6-0 when Shaun Johnson converted.

A try to Johnson soon after gave the Warriors a further lead, when he used fast feet to beat the Raiders defence for a five point try under the posts. Sam Tomkins converted and the Warriors took the 13-4 lead into the break.

The Warriors were the first to score on resumption through Sione Lousi when he found some space down the middle, the Johnson conversion was successful and the Warriors led 19-4.

The Raiders hit back through Andrew Heffernan when he chased through a lovely kick from Mitch Cronin and the conversion was successful to bring the Raiders back in the game at 19-10.

The momentum was halted by another Warriors try though, as Raymond Faitala-Mariner scored, with Johnson extending the lead to 25-10 after the goal.

The Raiders scored late through Jarrad Kennedy, but it was too late as the Warriors ran out 25-14 winners.

The Raiders will now play the Cowboys at 6.35pm NZ Time.