Raiders pip Warriors in golden point
A try from Jarrod Croker in golden point lifted Canberra to a 26-22 victory over the Warriors on Saturday, handing the Raiders a fourth straight win and putting them into the NRL Telstra Premiership top four.
After Jordan Rapana broke free on the Raiders' first use of the ball in added time, Croker finished off a swift left-side move to score his third try of the match and seal the result in the Men of League Round clash at GIO Stadium.
It was a crazy end to a dramatic game, where the Raiders had taken a 22-4 lead into the final 10 minutes only to leak three tries and head into additional time.
It was the third time in their last four games that the Warriors have lost in golden point, in a result which means they won't occupy a top eight spot for at least the next week.
Canberra scored two second-half tries but the game was won in the first 40 minutes, when they survived long periods without the ball and defended their line stoutly to take a 12-4 lead to the break.
With 10 minutes to go the Raiders looked to have the result secured, only for Thomas Leuluai to score two tries in three minutes, followed by a diving effort in the corner from David Fusitu'a.
A sideline conversion from Issac Luke with seconds on the clock tied scores and sent the match to golden point.
Earlier a Manu Vatuvei juggle and dive opened the scoring, with Luke falling just short on the ensuing conversion.
The Warriors had chances to extend their lead soon after, but both Vatuvei and rookie back-rower Bunty Afoa finished up inches away from the line.
But where the Warriors fell short, Canberra took full advantage, hitting back after Croker latched on to an Aidan Sezer grubber, before converting to take the lead.
Seconds before the break it got even better for the home side, with Joseph Tapine powering over for a converted try which gave the Raiders a 12-4.
Midway through the second half Luke dropped a misguided Tuimoala Lolohea offload and the Raiders headed down field where Croker collected his second, after Josh Papalii got an arm free for an offload 10 metres out from the line.
Twelve minutes from time Joseph Leilua got over after taking a Rapana offload and breaking through for the Raiders' fourth try.
The game looked over at that point before Leuluai launched an individual assault, and Luke converted Fusitu'a's try in the corner to force golden point.
Canberra Raiders 26 (Jarrod Croker 3, Joseph Tapine, Joseph Leilua tries; Croker 3 goals) def. Warriors 22 (Thomas Leuluai 2, Manu Vatuvei, David Fusitu'a tries; Issac Luke 3 goals) at GIO Stadium. Half-time: 12-4.