It doesn’t matter what the make-up of their side is, the NZ Warriors are truly a powerhouse at home these days – today was no different, with the Warriors accounting for the plucky Canberra Raiders – grinding out a win 14-6 in poor conditions at Mt Smart Stadium.
Warriors half Michael Witt put in a superb effort for his side, guiding them around the field well and having a hand in plenty of the home sides points through-out the day.
Five-eighth Witt started a sweet attacking movement when he regathered his own chip-and-chase on the final tackle, and setup new centre Brent Tate to fly over, with Witt adding the extras.
Canberra came back out after halftime with a second wind and spent a period camped inside the Warriors half.
They were rewarded when hooker Lincoln Withers, backing up from representative duty with NSW Country last Friday, grabbed the loose ball from a final-tackle play to force his way over.
Withers’ NSW Country teammate, halfback Todd Carney, added the extras, but Carney then dropped the following kick-off on his own goal line to present the Warriors with cheap territory.
The home side took advantage and centre Ryan Shortland dived on a Nathan Fien kick into the in-goal.
Witt had a rare miss with the conversion, but made it an eight-point game again with his second penalty.
With the rain becoming heavier and the Warriors finishing the stronger, Witt missed with another penalty when he lost his footing on the slippery surface and the tee ended going further than the ball.
The result allowed the Warriors, with their fourth win at home, to join the Raiders in mid-table on eight points.
It also extended Canberra’s lack of recent success at Mt Smart Stadium, where they have not won since 2001.