16 Mar 2015

Warriors claim first win

6:35 am on 16 March 2015

The New Zealand Warriors have recorded their first win of the National Rugby League season, downing the Raiders 18-6 in Canberra.

The Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins in action.

Fullback Sam Tomkins twisted his ankle in the second half but it's not considered serious. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Canberra coach Ricky Stuart believes two basic errors just after half-time led to his side's downfall.

Locked at 6-all at the half-time break, the Raiders forward Paul Vaughan dropped a simple pass from the kick-off to gift the Warriors prime real estate, which they immediately converted into six points through a maiden try to centre Solomone Kata.

Another mistake minutes later gave the Warriors another solid crack and they soon scored through Ryan Hoffman and the opening of the floodgates beckoned.

The New Zealanders had put on 50-plus points against the Raiders in their past three outings, but this time Canberra held strong to put on a performance Stuart aptly described as an "arm wrestle".

The Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei continued his strong form against the Raiders by notching up his 13th try against them in six games when he opened the scoring in the 27th minute.

And while the win gets the ball rolling on the Warriors' 2015 campaign, there are concerns aplenty for them in the week ahead.

Captain Simon Mannering was put on report for a high tackle on Raiders winger Sisa Waqa midway through the first half.

The Warriors coach Andrew McFadden is pleased they held on.

"There's a perception around that we can't play the full 80 minutes. But it was a tough win tonight."

Golden Boot holder Shaun Johnson also played through obvious discomfort after hurting his wrist in the 22nd minute, and fullback Sam Tomkins twisted his ankle in the second half.

Meanwhile, Raiders winger Jeremy Hawkins (dangerous tackle) and forward Luke Bateman (crusher tackle) were placed on report.

The first half was full of brilliant end-to-end footy, but both sides were guilty of impatience in good field position to enter the break at 6-all.

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