Raiders 38 Warriors 12

It's a long, long way back from here.

While the result hurts - a 38-12 loss to the Raiders on home turf is costly - it's the performance that will add to concerns at Warriors HQ.

There simply wasn't much to like at all tonight. Canberra had the match under control after the first 20 minutes and never looked like relinquishing their grip.

The Raiders aren't a bad team but they are hardly world beaters, having lost five of their last seven games before today. But their defence looked almost impregnable last night and they tore holes in the Warriors' line at will.


For the Warriors, there is a long list of what was wrong, but it starts with first grade-level intensity. Even if you don't have the skill and personnel, that should be a minimum standard.

The Warriors conceded six soft tries, regularly missing first-up tackles. They struggled on the outside and left channels on the inside. Their attack was probably always going to be toothless without the likes of Manu Vatuvei and Solomone Kata but their passing and direction offensively was simply awful.

That led to a mountain of costly errors, some of them bizarre beyond belief. Twice the Warriors coughed the ball up on the first tackle inside their own 20m line and at other times they contrived to make mistakes that wouldn't be seen in the Fox Memorial competition.

For the Raiders, Joseph Leilua was a constant menace, the kind of physically-imposing centre Konrad Hurrell was meant to become and Josh Papalii was almost unstoppable at times.

The upcoming bye is both a blessing and a curse for the Warriors. The team won't enjoy a fortnight of mulling over this result but it will give coach Andrew McFadden time to consider his personnel options. At the moment, the recipe just ain't working.

Jonathan Wright's ongoing selection is a mystery. Sure, he's a solid no-frills player but he made one run (for 6m) across the entire first half. Why not roll the dice on a Ken Maumalo, who will at least offer some momentum? Matt Allwood tried hard but was pushed backwards on almost every carry and Blake Ayshford was way below the standards of previous games.

The senior men added to the suffering. Simon Mannering worked hard but made several uncharacteristic errors, looking like he had returned a week too early. The halves mixed sweet with mostly sour and Issac Luke and Ryan Hoffman were guilty of some poor defence. On his return to his home region, Luke had a poor start, with a straight-up miss allowing Blake Austin to force his way over in the 18th minute. When Bodene Thompson fumbled over the tryline soon afterwards - when it would have been easier to score - you sensed it might not be the Warriors' night. That feeling intensified when Leilua forced his way over minutes later, despite being surrounded by a posse of defenders.

Despite a nightmare first half in terms of penalties and errors, the Warriors actually had significantly more possession in the Raiders' 20m zone. They forced a couple of repeat sets but never really looked dangerous. They were ponderous and predictable with set plays and lacked any punch on the edges.

Still, the Raiders' third try was unexpected, with Jarrod Croker strolling past Ayshford on the outside. The carnage continued in the second half, with three more Canberra tries as Shaun Johnson and Ayshford grabbed consolations for the Warriors.

Raiders 38 (B Austin, J Leilua, J Croker, J Papalli, J Hodgson, E Lee tries; Croker 7 gls).
Warriors 12 (S Johnson, B Ayshford tries, S Johnson 2 gls)
Halftime: 22-0.