Raiders Season Goes From Bad To Worse After Big Loss

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The Raiders hit a new low on Sunday afternoon as they were demolished 54-18 by the Warriors, less than a week after coach Ricky Stuart admitted his side were not up to first grade standard.

***
What: NRL Round 21
Who: Canberra Raiders v New Zealand Warriors
Result: New Zealand 54-18
When and Where: Sunday August 3, 2pm – GIO Stadium
Crowd: 7,094
Match Rating: 7/10

80 Minutes in 80 Seconds:
The Canberra Raiders were crushed 54-18 by the New Zealand Warriors after being absolutely wiped off the face of the earth in the first half. Five tries, seven line-breaks and 59% of possession was too much for the Raiders and had them trailing 28-0 at the 40 minute mark.

Sam Rapira’s second try (thanks again to some Mateo magic) began what was to be another half of brutality. Four more tries were piled on in as little as twenty minutes with human wrecking ball, Manu Vatuvei, barging over for a second half hat trick.

The last ten minutes belonged to Canberra as the Green Machine managed to put on three consolation tries against the twelve-man Warriors, giving their die-hard fans something to cheer about but it was all academic as the Warriors cruised to victory.

Who Killed It?
Sam Tomkins was a real livewire for the Warriors and showed he has the make-up of one of the great fullbacks; footwork, pass selection and the ability to get over the line. Feleti Mateo and his ball playing at the line deserves a mention – never have we seen a big man with so much creativity.

Who Stank It Up?
The Raiders as a whole were woeful today. Playing in front of their suffering home crowd, they were never able to regroup after suffering such a heavy early deficit. With the Raiders unable to call on any more rookies, what can Ricky do to spark a late season comeback?

What Do I Need To Know?
Shaun Johnson was a late exclusion for the Warriors and is still in doubt for next week. Shaun Fensom suffered a knee injury and was on the sideline for most of the match. Konrad Hurrell didn’t return in the second half after a hamstring injury – medics made note that his sidelining was only precautionary. Jacob Lillyman was subbed off with an ankle injury and wasn’t to return while Dane Nielsen and Chad Townsend also picked up niggling injuries but weren’t forced from the field.

What The..:
The Warriors obviously love playing against the Canberra boys. In their last three outings, the Warriors have won 50-16, 54-12, and today, 54-18.

Look Out Up Ahead:
The Raiders are on the road as they take on the Eels on Saturday night while the Warriors host the Sharks in another Sunday afternoon blockbuster.

Story published on sportal.com.au – http://www.sportal.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/match-centre/314213/nrl#postmatch

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