Canberra thwarted the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ quest for a fourth straight win when it prevailed 34-16 in today’s 20th-round Jersey Flegg Cup encounter at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.
Heading into the contest the Raiders were lying seventh and the Vodafone Junior Warriors eighth after picking off North Sydney 26-24, competition leader Cronulla 16-12 and Parramatta 34-18 in their previous three matches.
There was little in at the break, the visitors leading 12-10 after second rower Tom Ale and hooker Taniela Otukolo had scored for the home side.
In the 42nd minute the Vodafone Junior Warriors grabbed a 16-12 lead through Otukolo’s second try - set up brilliantly by halfback Sione Moala - and they seemed to be in a solid position to go on with it.
Instead the Raiders seized control, regaining the lead in the 47th minute and then adding another three as they piled on 22 unanswered points to secure victory.
Despite the loss, the Vodafone Junior Warriors remain eighth after ninth-placed St George Illawarra fell to an upset 28-32 loss to Parramatta.
At North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Junior Warriors 16 (Taniela Otukolo 2, Tom Ale tries; Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard 2 conversions).
Canberra Raiders 34 (Tom Robertson 2, Kyle Paterson, Harley Smith-Shields, Tyson Hodge, Jarrett Subloo tries; Tobias Westcott 5 conversions).
Halftime: 12-10 Raiders.
Vodafone Junior Warriors | Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard; Selestino Ravutaumada, Kayal Iro, Casey Smith, Edward Kosi; Caleb Pese, Sione Moala; Junior Pua, Temple Kalepo, Wesley Veikoso; Brody Tamarua (c), Tom Ale; Isaiah Vagana. Interchange: Taniela Otukolo, Eliesa Katoa, Toni Tupouniua, Jyris Glamuzina.