NRL 2 years ago

Warriors' control brings win over Raiders

  • Warriors' control brings win over Raiders

Star half-back Shaun Johnson has again provided the spark as the Warriors consolidated their position in the NRL top eight with a 30-8 win over Canberra in Auckland.

Johnson scored a try with his typical speed and elusiveness and created another shortly after to give the Warriors a 16-point buffer early in the second half of Saturday's clash.

His overall contribution added the gloss to a Warriors performance in which - as they did in beating Gold Coast last week - they controlled proceedings early before pulling away in the second spell.

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Coach Andrew McFadden praised the way his side closed out the contest, noting that they kept the Raiders, who began the round with the competition's best attack, to just eight points.

"I think both last week and this week have been pretty similar sort of themes," he said.

"We built pressure through our kicks and our defensive effort and the points came on the back of that."

Johnson almost missed the match after sitting out training on Friday.

He had physio treatment on Saturday morning and came through the warm-up.

"It's a real credit to him because it would have played on his mind," McFadden said.

"I thought pretty much from the start, he let everyone know he was in there physically."

Canberra had a high 82 per cent completion rate but got just 37 per cent of the ball, which meant they had to make more than 400 tackles for a second successive week.

Coach Ricky Stuart couldn't fault his players' effort but said the weight of possession was always going to make things tough.

"We probably made enough tackles over the last two games for four games when you look at the stats," he said.

Stuart said the difference between the two sides was that "they were a bit more clinical than us".

"I thought it was a really good game of footy in the first 40."

"But the amount of possession we had to defend in the first 40 probably hurt us in the overall game."

The win is the Warriors' fifth in a row over the Raiders, who remain in the bottom half of the table.

They were first on the board through Bodene Thompson, who marked his 100th NRL match by busting through the line for a try.

Canberra replied through fullback Jack Wighton and went to an 8-6 lead after a Jarrod Croker penalty.

The Warriors struck back with the first of winger Tuimoala Lolohea's two tries, with Johnson adding the conversion and a penalty for an 14-8 half-time lead.

Johnson then showed his characteristic speed and step to score, before setting up Lolohea's second with a kick into the in-goal.

Winger Manu Vatuvei added the icing with his 14th try in his past seven matches against Canberra.

The Warriors, like the Raiders, have a bye next week.

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