Cronulla are back. Back in an emphatic way with a demolition job on Ricky Stuart’s Canberra Raiders 42-16 at GIO Stadium.
Before tonight’s game the result looked dependent on the halves. Whilst Blake Austin had an impact for the Raiders with his spiraling kicks causing Sosaia Feki problems, it was James Maloney who had a field day. He set up two of Wade Graham’s three tries, kicking a 40/20 and in general set up play superbly for the Sharks. Great signs for the NSW Origin half so early in 2017.
SHARKS THORN IN RAIDERS ROSE
Defending Premiers Cronulla Sharks have won their first for 2017 with a convincing victory over Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium. The last time the visitors lost in Canberra was back in 2012 with exiled Sandor Earl and Rooster Blake Ferguson crossing for doubles as the Green Machine won 34-16. Cronulla are the Raiders bogey team right now.
HOLD ONTO THE BALL!
It was an error riddled first half with both sides failing to complete a set of six between the seventh and twentieth minute of the game. Frustration crept into the game with both sides starting to push and shove in the ruck at one stage. It was a mild night in Canberra, without the humidity of Brisbane which had a factor in the Broncos and Cowboys Friday night blockbuster. Both Shane Flanagan and Ricky Stuart will demand improve in this facet of the game over the coming weeks.
VIKING HORN COMPLIMENTS CLAP
It was former Raiders captain Alan Tongue who was the first to sound the Viking horn to initiate the Viking clap at GIO Stadium tonight. At each home game this year a former player will sound the horn, a great initiative from the club. 15,807 fans embraced the addition to their home ground. However it was a frustrated Canberra crowd with a chorus of boo’s in the second half as the home side failed to pack a punch against the defending champs.
FROM THE SHEDS
No major injury concerns.
CANBERRA RAIDERS 16
Tries: Jack Wighton 2, Jordan Rapana
Goals: Aidan Sezer (2/3)
CRONULLA SHARKS 42
Tries: Wade Graham 3, Ricky Leutele, Jayden Brailey, Matt Prior, Paul Gallen
Goals: James Maloney (7/9)
HALF-TIME: Cronulla Sharks 12 Canberra Raiders 10