A dynamic start by new recruit Sisa Waqa to set up two tries wasn’t enough for the Green Machine, as they were overrun by the Tigers 16-10 in their opening game of the Auckland Nines for 2015.
Young players Lachlan Croker and Luke Bateman were impressive for the Raiders as was halfback Mitch Cornish, but it was Waqa’s speed and skill which would have had Raiders fans thrilled as he looked dynamic in his first appearance in green.
The Raiders scored after just three minutes through Lachlan Croker, after Sisa Waqa made a great bust down the sideline to set him up for the opening try. Jack Ahearn added the extras for the 6-0 lead.
Waqa was again involved just two minutes later when he made another great run to set up Jack Ahearn down the right flank. Cornish missed the conversion but the Raiders had a handy 10-0 lead.
A mistake from the Raiders gave the Tigers cheap possession and Jack Buchanan capitalised, scoring the Tigers first try adjacent to the uprights. Pat Richards converted for the 10-6 score line at halftime.
The second half started the same for the Raiders with another cheap error giving the Tigers good field position and they were able to score through Kyle Lovett. Richards missed the conversion and the scores were locked up at 10-10.
The Tigers hit the lead when they scored on the last play of their set with two minutes remaining, as a lucky ball found Lovett who was on the spot to score his second. Richards converted and the Tigers lead 16-10.
Ken Nagas almost pulled off the dream finish when he chased down a kick, but he was pulled off the ball and the Tigers held on for the 16-10 win.