NRL 2019: NZ Warriors end season on high, with win against Canberra Raiders

The Warriors' season is mercifully over, but they ended in style, topping the NRL-playoffs bound Canberra Raiders.

The 24-20 win means a potential 12th place finish for the New Zealand club, ending their season with nine wins and a draw from 24 games. 

Canberra turned around a 12-6 deficit halfway through the first spell, scoring 14 unanswered points to take control of the game.

But Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's 68th-minute try - his seventh for 2019 - gave the Warriors hope of ending their season on a high note. 

Arguably the best team try of the season, the Warriors threw the ball around with 14 touches - three by the skipper - who started the play on the halfway line.

Eventually, the Warriors No.1 beat Jarrod Croker with a trademark step to dot down and draw the Warriors within two points of victory.

And Tuivasa-Sheck was again to the fore for the match-winner, causing havoc in the defensive line, before Blake Green beat three defenders to score under the black dot.

Earlier, the Raiders got on the board first with an opportunistic try to winger Sebastian Kris. Five-eighth Jack Wighton teased the Warriors defence with a well-weighted kick that saw Elliot Whitehead pull off the try-assist of the season.

The second-row forward leapt over the dead-ball line, propelling the ball back into the in-goal for Kris to fall on. 

But the Warriors slowly worked themselves into the game and produced a solid 20 minutes that saw them take the lead.

Lachlan Burr's try at the 20-minute mark was followed by winger Adam Pompey's second try for the club, barging over with two Raiders defenders on his back.

But slack defence had the Raiders back on level terms, when Josh Papalii swatted away weak Warriors tackle attempts to score the leveller, before a moment that typified the season for the Auckland-based club. 

The Raiders appeared to be setting themselves up for a field-goal attempt with time up on the clock, but hooker Josh Hodgson had other ideas. 

The outstanding No.9 scooted out of dummy-half, taking advantage of tired defenders expecting a one-point attempt, and brushing off Papalii and Blake Ayshford to score after the siren.

The Raiders took a 16-12 lead into the sheds. 

A win for the Brisbane Broncos over the Canterbury Bulldogs would be enough for the Warriors to hold onto 12th spot. 


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