Two disallowed tries late in the game by the Raiders has helped the Warriors hang on for a gritty victory in a game full of big hits and powerful running. The hosts came away 20-16 winners on the eve of the finals.
The Raiders opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Sam Williams kicked a brilliant 40/20. Hodgson from dummy half hit his lead runner Papalii, who jumped to catch the pass, twisted and barged over through the defence to score near the left upright. Williams converted.
In the 21st minute the Warriors hit back when they took advantage of a bunched up Raiders defensive line. Kata skipped away from an ankle tap attempt and dived over for an easy try on the left side. Johnson's conversion attempt struck the upright and was waved away.
The Warriors scored again just 5 minutes later when Peta Hiku got a stunning flick pass out the back after engaging the defence and drawing in the winger. Fusitua took it cleanly and fell over the line for a try. Johnson again failed to convert from touch.
Williams kicked a penalty goal 5 minutes from the break to level the scores.
The Warriors took the lead back just 3 minutes after play resumed when Johnson put Hiku over for a try out wide. This time he converted from the right touchline.
4 minutes later Johnson kicked a penalty goal.
In the 55th minute Hodgson grubbered to the short side. Rapana magically tapped the ball back into the field of play without either him or the ball going dead-in-goal. Kata tried to clean it up but lost the ball back into the Warriors in-goal and Whitehead dived on the loose ball to score a miraculous try. Williams converted from the left sideline.
2 minutes later and Williams kicked a penalty goal to make the scores level again.
With 14 minutes left, Tuivasa-Sheck pulled out a huge step to get almost through the line before flicking the ball to Johnson, however he was held back. Johnson potted the penalty goal to give the Warriors the lead.
Three minutes later and Johnson kicked another penalty goal after the Raiders were offside on the last tackle of the Warriors set.
With 8 minutes remaining, Rapana made a break down the right sideline and then kicked back infield. Tuivasa-Sheck got a bad bounce and was under pressure from Austin, however he managed to slap the ball into Austin's hand. Austin followed through and grounded it for a try, but it was called back for the knock-on.
Almost 2 minutes later and Williams managed to get across the line for a try, but it too was disallowed when it was ruled that Guler interfered with Afoa.
Canberra pulled out all the tricks they could but they just couldn't get another try. Their season ends here while the Warriors await a finals clash against an opponent and at a venue to be confirmed.