A man of the match performance from Shaun Johnson has led the New Zealand Warriors to a comprehensive 54-12 victory over the Canberra Raiders in front on 18,165 jubilant fans at Eden Park.
The young Warriors halfback was unstoppable throughout the match, finishing with two tries and nine conversions and securing a personal tally of 26 points as everything he touched turned to gold.
It was obvious very early in the match that the Raiders had not turned up and were in for a long afternoon. The Warriors made a mockery of the Raiders defence, scoring three tries with their first three forays into the Raiders half, with Ben Matulino opening the scoring for the Warriors when he broke though very lazy Raiders defence in the 4th minute.
Matulino's opening try was followed quickly by two more soft Warriors tries before the match was even 20 minutes old. Konrad Hurrell scored a try which came out of nothing when he busted through the Raiders line before running 60 metres to score. Shaun Johnson added his own four pointer minutes later when an intercept saw him run 30 metres to score under the posts.
Raiders centre Jarrod Croker jumped over the top of the Warriors defence to score his side's first try on 21 minutes, but that was the closest they got to the Warriors who scored in the 33rd minute through Ngani Laumape to take a 24-6 lead to the break.
The second half saw no change in fortune for the Raiders as the Warriors put the match to bed early with three early tries to Shaun Johnson (46th minute), Sam Tomkins (48th minute) and Manu Vatuvei (52nd minute), which all but sealed the two points for the home team.
To the Raiders credit, they continued to throw the ball around and put in some enterprising kicks, but it was evident that it was just never going to be their day with unforced errors and lazy defence leaving them exposed far too often. The Warriors were happy to take advantage with two more tries to Jayson Bukuya and Manu Vatuvei rounding out a resounding victory for the home team and taking their score past the 50 point mark.
The Raiders did manage a consolation try on the siren to Jarrod Croker but it will do nothing to mask the horror of the onslaught they suffered in the preceding 80 minutes. The Raiders will have a lot of questions to answer about their commitment and attitude after conceding a total of 108 points in their last two games.
The question for the Warriors, however, will be about consistency and whether they can back up this strong performance with an equally strong one against the first placed Bulldogs next Sunday at Waikato Stadium.