Raiders overwhelm Warriors 38-12

Canberra have climbed into the NRL top eight by humbling an error-ridden Warriors 38-12 in New Plymouth.

After two late losses in the past two rounds, the Raiders got back to winning ways in emphatic fashion, scoring six tries to two on Saturday night.

The match was the NRL’s first in Taranaki and much of the Warriors’ pre-match focus had been on Issac Luke’s return to his home province.

But the Raiders, whose energetic defence was a feature, put the dampener on the celebrations for the 36-Test Kiwi and former South Sydney hooker.

In what was a home fixture for the Auckland club, the Warriors paid for crucial errors and were on the wrong end of the penalty count.

The defeat leaves them languishing in the bottom quarter of the table ahead of a bye.

In a physical encounter, it was Blake Austin, who got the Raiders on the board midway through the opening spell as he danced past three defenders.

The Warriors had a great chance to level, but Bodene Thompson knocked on as he pounced on a Shaun Johnson kick into the in-goal.

When the Warriors conceded another penalty, Canberra pulled further ahead, Austin’s step creating the opening for a Joseph Leilua touchdown.

Then skipper Jarrod Croker, fresh from becoming his club’s leading all-time scorer the previous week, dotted down.

Cocker landed his third conversion to go with two early penalties and the visitors had raced to a 22-0 lead at halftime.

The Warriors finally opened their account early in the second half, a big run by Sam Lisone leading to a Johnson try.

But when David Fusitu’a dropped the ball on the first tackle, the Raiders took advantage, with Josh Papalii forcing his way over.

Josh Hodgson and Edrick Lee added further tries to blow out the scoreline before a late consolation for the Warriors through Blake Ayshford.

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