Raiders hold off Warriors in Auckland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders hold off Warriors in Auckland

By Nicky Park 01/05/2010 06:41:42 PM Comments (0)

Canberra put their second half jitters behind them and handed the Warriors their third straight NRL loss on Saturday, lifting to a 23-16 victory in Auckland.

Canberra took a 16-0 lead into halftime but were having nightmares when the Warriors scored twice in the opening 20 minutes of the second half to cut the deficit to six.

But a brilliant offload from Bronson Harrison sent Joel Thompson crashing over in the 62nd minute and a field goal from Marc Herbert ensured a victory for Canberra and prevented another embarrassment.

Last week the Raiders gave up a 24-6 lead against South Sydney to lose 26-24 and earlier in the season they butchered a 22-10 halftime advantage over the Wests Tigers to get beaten 35-22.

Quickly becoming known as the Canberra `Faders', the Raiders were anxious to put that nickname to bed and prove they could close out a game.

"(If) we hold that much ball ... we can just storm through teams with our big forward pack," stand-in captain Terry Campese said of the Raiders' excellent possession rate despite the wet conditions.

"The easy message was going off those two games ... just sticking to that game plan, getting that control, getting forward, kicking it into corners, taking opportunities."

The Raiders' last-minute inclusion of winger Drury Low, laid the foundations for the away side - bagging a couple of tries on debut in the opening 20 minutes.

The Kiwi-born 20-year-old capitalised in the 11th minute when Warriors winger Patrick Ah Van failed to collect a pass from Lance Hohaia, with Low scoring under the bar for Canberra.

In the 18th minute, prop David Shillington took an inside ball from Marc Herbert and crashed over the line to extend the Raiders lead to 12-0.

Far from overawed, Low continued his golden debut when he took a 30-metre pass from Josh Dugan down the left side, to bag a second try in the 20th minute as the rain started pelting down in Auckland.

Trailing by 16 points at the break, Ivan Cleary's Warriors did some soul searching at halftime and put their first points on the board three minutes into the second forty, when some brilliant footwork from Ukuma Ta'ai put the Warriors back in the frame in front of a willing crowd of 11,499.

Ah Van, managed to redeem his earlier mistake in the 58th minute, taking a brilliant kick off the boot of Maloney to have the Raiders feeling anxious.

However, despite enduring another shaky second half, Canberra were relieved to escape with victory having lost their past six games at Mt Smart and winning only one of their last 10 away matches.

Raiders coach David Furner said the club has been building towards a better record on the road over the past 12 months.

"We put ourselves in the games. There's probably five or six games last year that we could have won, we're obviously learning from those games," Furner said.

Warriors centre Brent Tate, who scored a consolation try in the 77th minute for the Warriors, said the team had lost confidence.

"Sometimes it just snowballs like that," said Tate, as the Warriors head into a much-needed bye.

"I think we just made errors in really critical times again.

"That's just a confidence thing which has probably taken a hit the last couple of weeks."

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