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Warriors defeat Raiders in heart-breaker

The Canberra Raiders have fallen in heartbreaking fashion during golden point against the New Zealand Warriors in Redcliffe on Saturday afternoon, losing 21-20.

Despite some brilliant work from the Raiders forwards the team could not quite get the job done, with errors again plaguing the second half.

It was veteran Shaun Johnson who put the dagger in the hearts of Canberra, capitalising on some good field position to take the victory.

After some early dominance it was the Raiders who were able to get off to the perfect start in Redcliffe, as some silky passing from both Brad Schneider and Jack Wighton put Matt Timoko into some space.

The centre was easily able to run it over for Canberra’s first try of the game, with Schneider slotting the conversion from the left edge, leaving the Raiders with a 6-0 lead in the 9th minute.

Soon after Jordan Rapana was tackled without the ball when Adam Elliott broke the line, with Schneider kicking a penalty conversion to extend the lead to eight. 

Completely against the run of play after an error the Warriors were able to capitalise and score their first of the game through Adam Pompey. Reece Walsh kicked conversion to leave the score at 8-6 in the 25th minute.

It didn’t take long for the Green Machine to hit back, after an Addin Fonua-Blake error from a Tom Starling tackle off the kick off left the Raiders with a full set on the Warriors line.

An offload from Adam Elliott again opened up the Warriors right edge defence, with Hudson Young finding a hole in the line. The second rower made no mistake as he scored the Raiders’ second of the half, as Schneider converted to make it 14-6 in the 28th minute.

Just four minutes later the Warriors were able respond as a slip left Viliamu Vailea free to collect a bouncing ball right in front of the goal line, with Reece Walsh again making his conversion to close Canberra’s lead to just two.

It was then the Raiders turn to immediately reply, with an error from the Warriors after the kick off leaving Canberra with more positive field position.

The ball soon found itself in the hands of Wighton who backed himself just ten metres out from the line, with the captain able to break multiple tackles to score the teams third in the 34th minute.

Schneider made it three from three with the boot to leave the Raiders 20-12 up as both teams went to the sheds with everything to play for.

Errors from both sides throughout the first 20 minutes of the second half left neither team with any clear-cut chances, with much of that period taking place in the middle of the field.

A Xavier Savage kick chase was arguably the best Raiders opportunity of that period, with the young gun almost collecting a pinpoint Wighton kick before the Warriors cover defence just got to the winger in time.

New Zealand were finally able to make the most of the errors as Daejarn Asi found Euan Aitken close to the try line, with the second rower running over untouched in the 63rd minute.

Walsh’s conversion from right in front brought the Raiders lead back to just two with only 15 minutes of the match remaining.

A contentious penalty against Corey Horsburgh left Walsh with a simple shot at goal in the 80th minute, taking the game into extra time.

After a forward pass out of dummy half from Canberra the Warriors were able to complete a solid first set of the extra period, ending it as Shaun Johnson kicked a field goal to win 21-20.

Canberra will be looking to get their season back on track against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at GIO Stadium next Friday, with a win crucial if they want to be competing for a finals place in 2022.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.