Andrew Heffernan of the Raiders celebrates after scoring a try during the win over the Warriors. Photo: Getty Images
LIGHTNING quick winger Jonathon Reuben showed the Canberra Raiders what they will be missing next season as he led the Green Machine to the Holden Cup under-20s minor premiership.
Reuben, who is poised to join the Sydney Roosters, played a hand in two match-sealing tries in Saturday's 26-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Raiders have wrapped up top spot with a round to spare, although they rested three of their stars.
Holden Cup fullback of the year Jack Ahearn and blockbusting forward Tevita Pangai were both rested, while Junior Kiwis international Jeremy Hawkins - who along with Ahearn re-signed until 2015 on Friday - also missed the trip across the Tasman.
The 20-year-old Reuben showed his immense ability in helping break a 16-all deadlock in the second half.
Reuben lit up the afterburners to rocket along the right-hand sideline after a great pass from five-eighth Jordan Worboys, drawing the Warriors fullback before throwing the final ball to Brenko Lee for his double.
Better was to come a few minutes later. Reuben latched on to a Warriors chip kick five metres from his own line and ran the length of the field, beating several defenders.
Lee gave the Raiders the perfect start, using brute strength to open the scoring after 16 minutes.
The Warriors hit back, but Canberra's Andrew Heffernan crossed either side of half-time to give the Raiders some breathing space.
The Raiders were cruising at 16-4 until back-to-back tries by the Warriors set up a thrilling final 20 minutes.
CANBERRA RAIDERS 26 (A Heffernan 2, B Lee 2, J Reuben tries; M Cornish 3 goals) bt NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS 16 (A Tuimavave-Gerrard, S Feao, L Feagaiga tries; T Lolohea 2 goals) at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.