A first half hat trick for Kiwi native Kalani Going and some brilliant defence was the highlight for the Raiders NYC team, as they defeated the fourth place New Zealand Warriors 24-16 at Mt Smart Stadium.
Going was a standout in the first half for the Raiders as he scored three tries in what was just his third match at NYC level, since graduating from the Raiders SG Ball team where he won the joint Players Player for the season.
The Raiders got off to the perfect start against New Zealand when Going scored his first try after just a few minutes of play, when he used his size and strength to barge his way over for the opening try.
Going was in the action again just a few minutes later when he found space from a nice Dylan McGrath pass and when Zac Woolford converted it was 10-0.
Another try to the Green Machine extended their lead, before Going completed his first half hat trick as he once again proved a handful on the left edge for the visitors giving the Raiders a 20-0 lead.
The Warriors finally on on the scoreboard through winger Paul Ulberg just before half time, as they took advantage of some Raiders errors to build some possession and put pressure on Canberra. Mikaere Beattie added the extras and it was 20-6 at the break.
The Raiders first half defensive efforts were first rate as they controlled the tempo of the game and managed to keep the usually high scoring Warriors contained to just the one try in the opening half.
The Warriors were the first team to score after halftime when Koli Oneone scored just five minutes after the break, when he snared a nice cross field kick from halfback Erin Clark. The conversion brought it back in within eight points at 20-12.
Both teams had a number of chances to score during the second half, but desperate defence from both teams kept the score line the same until the 73rd minute, when Jack Hickson barged his way over in the corner from a short side raid to secure the victory for the Raiders.
Chevi Ellis was brilliant for the Raiders in the second half as he constantly caused headaches with his broken field running from fullback, while Kalani Going was a consistent handful for the Warriors defence as he used footwork and power to cause trouble for the New Zealand defence.
A late try to Tomas Aoake in the corner gave the Warriors a consolation try, but the Raiders were able to hold on for the eight point win.
The Raiders will now head into the bye on 18 competition points and a wonderful chance to set up their back end of the season.