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Wighton inspires Raiders to stunning comeback against Warriors

The monster boot and magic touch of Jack Wighton orchestrated a stunning second-half comeback which saw the Raiders score 26 unanswered points after the break to beat the Warriors 26-14 on Saturday.

With his side trailing 14-0 at the break, Wighton kicked a pair of 40/20s in the second period, both of which led directly to tries, and put his team in position to record their fourth-straight win at home at GIO Stadium. 

Corey Harawira-Naera contributed plenty as well, with two tries off the bench, while fellow Kiwi big man Joseph Tapine powered to 189 metres in the middle of the park.

Earlier the Warriors flew out of the gates and found themselves 12-0 up before the Raiders had even enjoyed a set with the ball, and following Shaun Johnson's long-range penalty they led 14-0 at the half. 

Mighty Murchie opens the scoring

But Wighton changed the momentum of the match immediately in the second half, kicking his first 40/20 which led to Albert Hopoate crossing for his first NRL try on the ensuing set, before Wighton's second gave Canberra the field position for Harawira-Naera to get over. 

Harawira-Naera with a quick fire double

In between Sebastian Kris scored, before 'CHN' dotted down again and Jamal Fogarty added a further six points via two penalties and a conversion for the final score of 26-14.

Stuart celebrates, tears calf

Match Snapshot

  • Jack Wighton was in fine touch for the Green Machine, racking up 318 kick metres with a pair of 40/20 kicks which led to tries in the second half.
  • One-time Kiwi international Corey Harawira-Naera had a field day off the bench, scoring twice and narrowly missing out on a hat-trick when he knocked on over the line.
  • The Raiders have now won six from eight at GIO Stadium in 2022.
  • Raiders centre Sebastian Kris has scored four tries in as many games against the Warriors.
  • After a two-month spell in reserve grade, Daejarn Asi made a try-scoring return to the NRL and impressed with a strong first half in the No.6 jersey
  • The Warriors are now without a win on Australian soil since they defeated the Raiders in Round 8.

Plays of the Game

Both kicks, both from Jack Wighton and both leading to tries. Wighton took full advantage of the inexperience of Chanel Harris-Tavita at fullback, and wing Marcelo Montoya's tendency to play well up the field, to burn the Warriors. 

Wighton monsters a 40/20 to get the Raiders firing

Wighton's boot making all the difference

What They Said

“The excitement got me, I think it was when Corey Harawira-Naera went over for his try, I went down and tore a calf. We had to handle a lot of pressure… I said to them at half time 'we have been challenged now', I said 'we just turned this into a long game and if you are patient and don’t get frustrated and over try, we can still win this game'." – Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. 

Raiders: Round 19

“The first half was very solid from us. We challenged the group at half time that Canberra are going to come out with something and we have got to go with them, and unfortunately we didn’t. The 40/20 kicks were massive swings for them and we just couldn’t get ourselves out of the hole” – Warriors coach Stacey Jones.

Warriors: Round 19

What's Next

A trip to the Gold Coast to take on the 15th-placed Titans awaits Canberra, with the Raiders having the chance to embed themselves in the top eight before taking on ladder leaders Penrith in round 21. Rookie back James Schiller is a chance of being available after missing the Warriors game with an ankle injury. 

The Warriors meanwhile head back across the Tasman to take on the Storm at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night with their slim top-eight hopes now all but dashed.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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