The Vodafone Junior Warriors have triumphed in Canberra for the first time and have done so emphatically by pounding the Raiders 54-6 in today’s 21st-round NYC clash at GIO Stadium.
Four previous visits had produced nothing better than a draw last year after three earlier losses.
There was no doubt about the perceived bogey being put to bed today as the Stacey Jones side rebounded assuredly from last week’s unsatisfactory display against Manly (20-36).
The only negative was the six points the Raiders scored as they came up with the last try of the match in the 72nd minute.
Until then the Vodafone Junior Warriors were on track for a record margin as they sat on a 54-0 lead with 12 minutes still to go; the score-line mirrored the fulltime score the last time the two sides met at Eden Park.
At last, though, the Raiders found some relief in the 72nd minute with their only points in 160 minutes against the Vodafone Junior Warriors.
The visitors came out fast with captain Sam Lisone over in the first minute for his third try ion two matches. He was also backing up after appearing for the club’s New South Wales Cup side against the Mounties yesterday.
Despite a heavy supply of possession over the next 25 minutes the Vodafone Junior Warriors failed to add to their 4-0 lead as the Raiders somehow managed to deny them again and again.
When the breakthrough came, though, a deluge of points flowed. In fact, in the 40 minutes from the 26th minute to the 66th minute they delivered no fewer than nine tries and 50 points. It could so easily have been more when fullback Brad Abbey was ruled to have deliberately knocked the ball forward as he put on a classy juggling act for what would have been his second try.
There was so much to be impressed with, especially in the first 25 minutes of the second half, when the Vodafone Junior Warriors produced seven tries and 38 points.
Centre Nathaniel Roache and back rower scored doubles and standoff Ata Hingano finished with 18 points as the side came up with its special mix of power and skill to unleash on Canberra. Many of the tries were sublime in their execution with Abbey exceptional.
Across the park the Vodafone Junior Warriors had players carving up huge numbers of metres, breaking tackles almost at will and coming up with a total of 10 line breaks.
The win enabled the side to reclaim eighth spot and boosted its points for and against differential to plus 141 points.
Their next outing is against 15th-placed Cronulla at Mount Smart Stadium next Sunday.
Match details | GIO Stadium, Canberra
Canberra Raiders 6 (Cleveland McGhie try; Jonathon Kent conversion).
Vodafone Warriors 54 (Nathaniel Roache 2, James Bell 2, Sam Lisone, Marata Niukore, Kouma Samson, Ata Hingano, Paul Ulberg, Brad Abbey tries; Ata Hingano 7 conversions).
Halftime: 16-0 Vodafone Warriors.
Referees: Chris Sutton and Kasey Badger.
Vodafone Warriors: Brad Abbey; Paul Ulberg, Nathaniel Roache, Marata Niukore, Metia Lisati; Ata Hingano, Semisi Tyrell; Bunty Afoa, Kurt Robinson, Sam Lisone (c); Toafofoa Sipley, Ofahiki Ogden; Michael Ki. Interchange: Jazz Tevaga, James Bell, Mattais Heimuli, Kouma Samson.