The Canberra Raiders has lost their first match of the 2015 season, narrowly falling 18-6 to the New Zealand Warriors in front of 8,241 fans at GIO Stadium.
The Raiders were up for the contest in the first half but fell away in the second half as the Warriors started to control the tempo of the game.
The first 25 minutes of the game saw strong defensive efforts from both sides with both sides making breaks down the wing however the Raiders kept themselves in it with two try saving tackles first by Edrick Lee in the 12th minute and then again by Jarrad Kennedy stopped Warriors’ Sam Tomkins from scoring however he gave away a penalty for holding on.
The first points were scored by the New Zealand side after the Green Machine knocked on inside their own 20 metre line lead to Manu Vatuvei scoring in the corner and Shaun Johnson kicking the conversion for a 6-0 Warriors lead.
The Green Machine were able to hit back quickly though Mitch Cornish who kicked into the corner for offseason recruit Sisa Waqa who jumped above the Warriors defence brought it to ground and scored which was then successfully converted by Jarrod Croker leading to a half time score of 6 all.
The second half started better for the Warriors scoring two tries in quick succession. The first to Solomone Kata who took advantage of a knock on by Raiders’ Paul Vaughan just after the resumption of play in the 41st minute which was converted by Johnson.
The second fell to Ryan Hoffman leading to a stunned silence falling across the crowd. Chan Townsend kick a high ball towards the try line which was pounced upon by Hoffman and scored in the 45th minute which was once again successfully converted for a Warriors lead of 18-6.
The strong defensive efforts that were on show in the first half made a return in the second with Croker pulling off a try saving ankle tap on Shaun Johnson and the Warriors Simon Mannering chased down Blake Austin to prevent him from scoring.
The Raiders wasted an opportunity late in the game after Blake Austin tried to place a kick in the air for a contest between Vatuvei and Lee however got the placement wrong and it sailed over the touch in goal line.
Warriors Shaun Johnson tried to put the game out of reach in the with a field goal in the 73rd minute but missed out the left meaning the game ended just out of the Raiders reach with the Warriors running out 18-6 winners. The Raiders wil have to wait and see what the Judiciary make of Jeremy Hawkins high shot that was placed on report.
Man of The Match: Josh Papali