Thursday, 21 July 2016

Flash Back Friday - Warriors Destroy 17 Year Hoodoo. Round 21 vs Raiders 2014

Date: Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Kick Off: 2pm (Local Time)
Referee: Gavin Morris, Gavin Reynolds
Venue: Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Crowd: 7,094
Score: NZ Warriors 54 def Canberra Raiders 18

After disposing of the Canberra Raiders 54-12 at home earlier in the season, the Warriors headed into their Round 21 clash against the Canberra Raiders with one of the worst losing records at a venue in NRL history. It had been 17 years since the side had one in the national capital and were coming into the game off the back of two losses to the Broncos and the Sea Eagles as well as being without their #7 star half back, Shaun Johnson.

The Raiders adopted the Incredible Hulk jerseys for the game hoping it would bring some aggression into a side that was fighting to avoid the wooden spoon.

It took less than 4 minutes for the Warriors to open the scoring with Sione Lousi being the beneficiary of a slick backine move that opened up space out wide and allowed him to cross the stripe and open the scoring to give the Warriors an early lead.

After 12 minutes Sam Tomkins showed what he was capable of, slicing through some flimsy and lackluster defense to score under the posts. His 10th try was followed up shortly by a weaving solo effort which saw him beat most of the Raiders defenders twice over before passing to Matulino who went close to scoring himself only to flick a hail Mary out the back to a waiting Konrad Hurrell to score the Warriors 3rd unanswered try of the match and take a 16-0 lead.

The Warriors were again hot on the attack in the 30th minute with another backline move ending up with Tommy Leuluai who gave an absolutely beautiful pass to Ben Matulino to bust straight through a hole and score one of the easiest tries of his career.

5 minutes later and another attacking raid from the Warriors outfit and this time it was Feleti Mateo who put on a perfect pass for Sam Rapira to burst straight through the Raiders defence and then show some serious wheels to out sprint the cover defence to get to the try line virtually untouched giving the Warriors a 28-0 half time lead.

It wasn't long before the Warriors were heaping more misery on the home side with the same combination of Mateo and Rapira again coming together allowing Rapira to score under the posts and gain himself a rare double at NRL level.

10 minutes into the 2nd half and it was time for The Beast to awaken, gathering a bomb and touching down for an easy try.

One of the tries of the season was to come from the away side next up, with Friend picking up from dummy half, passing onto Leuluai who took the ball to the line dragging in 2 defenders in the process before passing onto Tomkins who skipped past one defender before drawing in the Raiders centre and passing on to Konrad facing a reeling Canberra defense and finding himself in a 2vs1 situation. Konrad sucked in the winger and offloaded to Tui Lolohea who set off down the wing before throwing a speculator back on the inside that landed perfectly in position for Laumape to do the rest and score yet another try for the Warriors. In under less than an hour the Warriors had an incredible lead of 44-0.

They weren't finished though and the next try came through a classic barn storming run from the Beast who managed to beat numerous defenders on his way to the try line. After just 63 mins they led 48-0.  Shortly after another slick back line move was finished of by Manu Vatuvei as he helped himself to yet another career hat trick.

With the game well and truly beyond doubt and the Warriors taking the foot off the gas, the home side managed to score 18 points in the final 4 minutes of the match as the score finished 54-18.


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