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NRL Match Reports

Four Pointers: Canberra Raiders 16 Cronulla Sharks 40

Sharks ageing forwards not done yet

Despite a lot of talk regarding their futures, the Shark’s ageing forwards proved that age isn’t a hindrance as of yet. The Raiders’ monster pack was made to look like novices against the Sharks. There weren’t any frills in their play but their ability to scrap it out for the full 80 minutes gave their halves and outside backs the perfect platform to dominate the game.

Sharks the best team that isn’t in Queensland

Four consecutive wins in the NRL is no mean feat. The Sharks have a perfect blend of youth and experience. The halves combination of Townsend and Maloney has taken pressure off Ennis while the decision to shift Bird to the centres gives the team, even more ball playing options. Ben Barba is back to his best and is like a new recruit for the side. If any team is capable of upsetting the duopoly the Cowboys and Broncos seem to have on the competition, it’s the Sharks.

Rapana the Raiders best

Ricky Stuart wasn’t pleased with his side in his press conference but he did praise the efforts of the winger who has been brilliant so far this season. Against the Sharks, he ran the ball 165 meters, scored one try and set up another. If the rest of the side can play with half the energy that Rapana does, the Raiders are every chance of returning to winning ways.

Will the real Raiders please stand up

It’s difficult to predict where the Raiders are heading in 2016. Was their performance against the Bulldogs a one off or are they capable of similar performances? Against the Eels and the Sharks, the Raiders have been well off the mark. Austin’s injury woes haven’t helped the side and Soliola has been sorely missed. However, injuries are part of the parcel in sport and the Raiders need to find a way to win.

Final Score

Raiders 16
Tries: Baptiste, Rapana, Sezer
Conversions: Croker 2/3

Sharks 40
Tries: Barba 2, Bird, Bukuya, Holmes, Prior, Maloney
Conversions: Maloney 6/7

Jon Kroiter is studying a Bachelor of Sports Media at the University of Canberra. You can follow him on twitter at @JonKroiter.


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