The Canberra Raiders have kept their slim finals hopes alive with a convincing 32-18 over the South Sydney Rabbitohs. While the Raiders kept their season alive, it’s now lights out for the Rabbitohs 2017 campaign.
Nick Cotric Rookie of the Season
It’s over, stop the fight… Nick Cotric must win the NRL rookie of the year. At the tender age of 18 and being the youngest player in the competition, Cotric has the competition alight scoring an impressive 13 tries, 114 tackle busts and 14 linebreaks to his name already this season. Cotric continued his stellar season last night crossing for a try, running for 139 metres and breaking the line once. Cotric has now scored in his past consecutive six games which has not been done by a Raiders player since 1998 ironically the year Cotric was born. The prodigy from Tuggeranong has not missed a single game yet this season and will surely take out rookie of the year come Dally M medal night.
South Sydney’s Season Over
It’s over Bunnies fans, you can stop dreaming now. Last night’s result officially ended South Sydney’s hopes of playing in September. They now sit at 6 wins and 13 losses, in past seasons the cut off to play finals is 12 and 12 losses which is out of the equation now. This now means that the 2014 premiers will miss the finals two seasons in a row. The future of embattled coach Michael McGuire is under question with a plethora of rumours stating that ‘Madge’ has lost the dressing room. They have a talented roster which is the reason many fans are disappointed, with the likes of Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds, the Burgess’, Angus Crichton and Robbie Farah, it’s hard to see where it has all gone wrong for the Bunnies in 2017. South Sydney will look to finish season off strongly to give the Redfern faithful something to look forward to in 2018.
Raiders Season Still Alive
The Canberra Raiders are back, well not back to where they want to be, but it’s a start. Last night they kept their slim hopes alive with a comprehensive victory without Jordan Rapana, Josh Papalii and Iosia Soliola who were all missing through suspension. Canberra were good last night, they were clinical and looked a lot like their old selves running in 5 tries and their scramble defence was quite good. The switch of sides for Canberra halves Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer seems to have done a world of good for the pair, Sezer especially has found his mojo over the past three weeks while. Canberra must win their remaining games and hope that other teams in front of them fall, if they make the eight they are a force to be reckoned with.
It’s the most important thing of the game of rugby league, holding on to the ball. Holding onto the ball and completing sets goes a long way and that’s what South Sydney did not do well at all last night. They only completed at 70% completing 26 sets from 37, which saw them starved of the ball. On the flipside, Canberra completed at 80% as they dominated possession. In a game where there is little margin for error, South Sydney simply did not control the ball well enough to win. You need the ball to win the game and that is exactly what Canberra did well last night, they made fewer errors and had more of the ball which went a long way to deciding the match. Canberra need to take this mentality for the rest of their games and South Sydney must take note.
Canberra Raiders – 32
Tries: Jarrod Croker, Joe Tapine, Nick Cotric, Luke Bateman, Michael Oldfield
Goals: Jarrod Croker 6/6
South Sydney Rabbitohs – 18
Tries: Cody Walker, Tyrell Fuimaono, Alex Johnston
Goals: Adam Reynolds 3/3