Vodafone Warriors overrun by fast finishing Raiders
Sunday 2 September 2012 4:00 PM
NRL ROUND 26 RESULT
CANBERRA RAIDERS 42
(R Robinson 2, B Ferguson 2, S Berrigan, S Fensom, J Papali Tries; J Croker 7/8 Goals)
VODAFONE WARRIORS 22
(M Vatuvei 2, B Matulino, P Godinet Tries; B Henry 2/3, J Maloney 1/1 Goals)
At Mt Smart Stadium.
Despite a brilliant first half effort, the Vodafone Warriors have fallen to the Raiders 42-22 at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was an intense start to the match under sunny, but windy Auckland skies, with the two large forward packs coming to heavy collisions in the early minutes. Ben Matulino and Dane Tilse in particular were intent on motivating their sides with some big hits felt all the way through the black covered grandstands.
After some uncharacteristic Raiders errors within the first ten minutes, it was the Vodafone Warriors who put first points on the board, with big Manu Vatuvei crossing down the left edge to finish off a beautiful backline move. Ben Henry’s conversion bounced in off the upright, taking the score to 6-0.
The Raiders then kicked into gear, propelling themselves forward into the strong New Zealand winds. A penalty also helped the Canberra cause, and after some nice lead up play to the right edge, the scores were level, with Shaun Berrigan pouncing on a well placed Josh McCrone grubber just to the right of the posts.
However, the see-sawing match continued with the Vodafone Warriors hitting back almost immediately through Ben Matulino. The Prop shrugged off Dane Tilse and dived over close to the line, taking the score to 12-6 after 20 minutes of play.
After making a break off a scrum, Vatuvei then crossed for his double to continue his great start, finishing off another crisp backline move to increase the Vodafone Warriors lead. Live-wire Pita Godinet then doubled the damaged for the Vodafone Warriors with a nice solo effort taking the score to 22-6 with five minutes remaining.
The Raiders then had a fantastic chance in the dying minutes of the first half, receiving multiple penalties at the Vodafone Warriors’ end. It looked like the Canberra men had scored through McCrone, however, when it was deemed the five-eighth didn’t successfully ground the ball, the score remained 22-6 at the half time break.
Who was your Man of the Match? Vote in the Provan Summons Award here.
With the wind at their backs and a deficit to run down, the Raiders came out firing in the second half, with Shaun Fensom scoring a nice try through the middle of the ruck. The hard working lock forward still had plenty of work to do, but showed some nice footwork to score under the posts to leave Jarrod Croker an easy conversion.
The Raiders then missed a golden opportunity shortly after, with Croker unable to find Dimitri Pelo after making a nice break. However, after the pending restart the Canberra men capitalised, with Reece Robinson showing some nice footwork to stand up James Maloney to score down the left edge. Croker then kicked the tricky conversion, taking the score to 22-18 with 25 minutes remaining.
Sandor Earl then got into the action, leaping above Vatuvei and delivering an amazing flick pass to Blake Ferguson who dived over to level the scores. The big centre then scored again in the very next set, out-leaping Carlos Tuimavave in one-on-one battle in what was an incredible effort. Jarrod Croker maintained his perfect record with the boot, nailing both conversions to take the score to 30-22.
The next set resulted in more points for the Raiders, with Jarrod Croker kicking a penalty goal to increase the lead to ten. Reece Robinson then scored his double and Josh Papali opened his account to give the Raiders a 42-22 as the match began to draw to a close.
And that was how the score would stay, with the Raiders finishing off the regular season in style as their finals campaign begins. The Vodafone Warriors will now look towards 2013, as they look to rebuild in the off-season.
Best for the Raiders were Shaun Fensom, David Shillington and Reece Robinson, while Best for the Vodafone Warriors were Elijah Taylor, Feleti Mateo and Michael Luck.
Vodafone Warriors: No major injuries to report.
Canberra Raiders: No major injuries to report.
C Tuimavave, B Tupou, B Henry, K Hurrell, M Vatuvei, F Mateo, P Godinet, J Lillyman, A Mara, B Matulino, E Taylor, S Mannering (c), M Luck.
Bench: R Packer, U Ta'ai, L Brown, J Maloney.
D Pelo, S Earl, J Croker, B Ferguson, R Robinson, J McCrone, S Berrigan, D Shillington (c), G Buttriss, D Tilse, J Papalii, J Picker, S Fensom.
Bench: J Thompson, M Nicholls, T Learoyd-Lahrs, T Waddell.
In the NYC match the Vodafone Junior Warriors beat the Raiders 26-12.