A brilliant late try by Canberra Raiders lock Hudson Young propelled the Raiders U20's to a close 18-16 win over the winless New Zealand Warriors at GIO Stadium today.
The Raiders made one late change for the match, with Zac Patch starting at hooker and Jarred Tuite moving to the bench.
The Warriors came into the match winless, while the Raiders were sitting in 13th on the ladder with two wins.
Canberra started the match well, forcing a goal line drop out with the first set of the match. After failing to convert their opportunities, the Raiders struggled to crack the Warriors defence early.
Half-way through the first half the score remained level with no points being scored, as Canberra kept applying pressure on the Warriors goal line.
The Warriors fantastic goal line defense paid dividends as they scored the first try of the match when winger Mathew Faitotoa crossed over in the corner.
After scoring the first try the Warriors found themselves in strong attacking positions however this time it was the Raiders who eventually found the line, as Captain Kalani Going scored with three minutes remaining in the first half.
Andre Niko converted the try giving the Raiders a 6-4 lead going into halftime.
The second half started off similar to the first as simple errors from the Warriors gifted the Raiders with plenty of ball. However, the Raiders were replicating New Zealand’s poor form with the ball as errors came at crucial stages when attack would look promising.
It was the Warriors who drew first blood in the second half when forward Joe Vuna crossed over after some soft defence from the home side. Kane Telea converted the try and gave the Warriors a 10-6 lead with twenty-seven minutes remaining in the match.
Half way through the second half Jarrod Tuite went agonisingly close to scoring but had the ball stripped from his hands in the in goal.
The Raiders applied plenty of pressure on the Warriors as the match went into its final fifteen minutes. A strong 35-meter solo effort from Raiders lock Hudson Young leveled the scores up at 10-10. Andre Niko’s conversion put the Raiders ahead by two points with ten minutes remaining.
Emre Guler sealed the victory with a barnstorming try on the stroke of full-time, before the Warriors grabbed a late try back on the siren.
Canberra Raiders 18 (Going, Young, Guler; Niko 3/3) defeated New Zealand Warriors 16 (Faitotoa 2, Vuna; Telea 2/3)