Sport Rugby League Johnson brilliant as Warriors thump Raiders

Johnson brilliant as Warriors thump Raiders

Shaun Johnson
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The Shaun Johnson-inspired Warriors have broken their Eden Park drought in dominant fashion with a 54-12 NRL victory over Canberra.

The halfback underlined his outstanding display by scoring two intercept tries, one from 90m, creating another with an underarm offload, and landing all nine shots at goal.

His 26 points equalled his haul in the Warriors’ 50-16 win over the Raiders last August, when he grabbed a hat-trick of tries.

Centre Konrad Hurrell also impressed, responding in emphatic manner to the leaking of a personal sex tape that led to him being fined by the Warriors.

The Tonga international, who got a big cheer from the 18,165 crowd when his name was announced at the start of the match, scored off a scintillating 60m run.

He continued to prove a handful, creating a try for Jayson Bukuya and ending the match with over 200 metres run.

The Warriors had lost in their five previous appearances at Eden Park.

In breaking that hoodoo by scoring nine tries to two, they followed up their impressive victory away to Melbourne in the previous round.

For Canberra, who began the weekend equal on points with the Warriors near the bottom of the table, it was a second successive big defeat after their 54-18 thumping by Manly.

The Warriors, who had plenty of possession, dominated from the start.

They raced to 18-0 up in as many minutes through tries to Ben Matulino, Hurrell and Johnson.

The Raiders replied through the first of Jarrod Croker’s two touchdowns, after the centre pulled in a Terry Campese kick to dot down.

But the home side restored the margin with a slick scrum move that led to winger Ngani Laumape crossing in the corner.

The second half was virtually all the Warriors as Johnson again, Sam Tomkins, Manu Vatuvei twice and Bukuya all crossed.

With the score at 42-6 midway through the second half, English Super League-bound Kevin Locke came off the bench for his first NRL appearance of the season after coming back from a knee injury.

Croker dotted down in the final minute to give the Raiders a late consolation.