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Raiders suffer first loss to Warriors

The New Zealand Warriors have defeated the Canberra Raiders 18-10 at Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch. 

Canberra have suffered their first defeat of the 2024 season, falling to the Warriors who bagged their first win of the season in the process.

A combination of strong defence and hard running through the middle provided the Warriors with the best field position of the opening exchanges. 

Field position which the Warriors would take advantage of, with a well-executed short ball from Shaun Johnson allowing Addin Fonua-Blake to stroll over untouched to open the scoring. 

Addin Fonua Blake looked to have a first half double after receiving an offload from Rocco Berry, who claimed an uncontested bomb, only for a one-on-one effort from Xavier Savage to desperately pull the front rower down before the try line. 

A forward pass from Warriors hooker Freddy Lussick provided the Raiders with their best opportunity of the first half, with a slick right-side shift, supplying Matt Timoko early ball which he capitalised on by beating two defenders on his way to the try line.

The Warriors would take a small two point advantage into the halftime sheds with both teams welcoming the break from the frantic, end-to-end first half. 

The second half would start similarly to the first with both forward packs gaining metres in attack and producing strong defence.

It was the Green Machine who broke the arm wrestle and were the first to score in the second half. 

A New Zealand error and penalty would help Canberra enter the attacking red zone, with a beautiful cut out pass from Jamal Fogarty creating a two on one opportunity which Nick Cotric finished with ease. 

The Warriors would hit back only five minutes later to restore their two point halftime advantage, with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak drifting across the field and linking up with Luke Metcalf who punched through the Canberra defence.  

A strong set after points would force an error from Nick Cotric, with the Warriors only needing two tackles to take advantage through Roger Tuivasa Sheck who scored his first try in the NRL since 2021.

Metcalf converted to hold a strong 18-10 lead over the visitors.

The Raiders would have opportunities to make up the eight-point deficit with multiple attacking sets on the Warriors defensive line, which proved in the closing stages to be too strong. 

Canberra will look to bounce back against the Cronulla Sharks at Pointsbet Stadium, next Sunday.

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.