It was a rough first loss for the Raiders in Saturday afternoon’s clash at GIO when they were left with just one interchange 15minutes into the match.
The Raiders looked close to scoring early, when a high attacking kick from George Williams sent Seb Kris flying into the air gaining possession of the ball, but he landed just short of the line.
A shift of momentum from the Warriors and a set restart sent Addin Fonua-Blake over for the opening points of the match, giving the visitors a 6-0 lead.
Tapine went down early in the first half with a suspected ankle injury which saw him leave the field. A head clash between Ryan James and Seb Kris followed, taking the two middles from the field just 12 minutes into the first half.
Despite the forced interchanges, the Raiders attacked down the field, forcing a knock on from the Warriors just 10 metres out. An overlap occurred on the left edge and Jack Wighton took the opportunity to get the first try for the green machine, equalling the score to 6-all.
In the 23rd minute, Ryan Sutton went through under the posts for the Raiders second try, after a set restart was forced by returning Skipper Jarrod Croker. The conversion was successful putting the Raiders in front 12-6.
A strong carry down the middle by Siliva Havili rewarded a six-again call for the Raiders. Sia Soliola crossed the line under the black dot, giving the Raiders a 18-6 lead.
Halfback George Williams spun and scored just minutes after the kick-off, extending the Raiders lead to 24-6.
George Williams kicked a field-goal 20metres out to seal the score 25-6 at half time.
Kodi Nikorima was first to score in the second half for the Warriors, getting them back into the contest.
But the Raiders were quick to hit back when Jordan Rapana put a banana kick into the middle of the field and Elliott Whitehead won the race to the ball diving on it in-goal.
Bayley Sironen was next to score under the black dot, slightly closing the gap for the Warriors 31-16.
The Warriors were awarded another try, when Ben Murdoch-Masila scored, Raider led 31-22 with 20 minutes to go.
Another try by the Warriors late in the second half from fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, leaving only a three-point lead for the Raiders with 10 minutes to go.
The Raiders successfully used a captain’s challenge against a decision surrounding winger Bailey Simonnson being tackled contesting the ball.
But, with just two minutes to go the Warriors were able to score next on the edge against a tired Raiders defence. Pushing them in-front 34-31.
Despite getting the ball from a short dropout, a last-minute attempt from the Raiders wasn’t enough and the Warriors went on to win the match.
Canberra Raiders 31 Tries: J Wighton, R Sutton, I Soliola, G Williams, E Whitehead, Goals: J Croker 5, Field Goal: G Williams)
New Zealand Warriors 34 (Tries: A Fonua-Blake, K Nikorima, B Sironen, B Murdoch-Masila, R Tuivassa-Sheck, A Pompey Goals: K Nikorima, 4)