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NRL MATCH REPORT | Canberra 26 – 10 Canterbury-Bankstown

Canberra finally won a game in 2018, beating Canterbury 26-10 at GIO Stadium Canberra.


Canberra 6-0 Joseph Leilua try (10th minute), Jarrod Croker goal (11th minute).

Canberra 12-0 Leilua try (15th minute), Croker goal (17th minute).

Canberra 12-6 Kieran Foran try (52nd minute), Moses Mbye goal (54th minute).

Canberra 18-6 Croker try (57th minute), Croker goal (59th minute).

Canberra 22-6 Croker try (64th minute).

Canberra 24-6 Croker goal (72nd minute)

Canberra 26-6 Croker goal (79th minute)

Canberra 26-10 Josh Morris (80th minute)



Canberra’s last win was Friday August 25 against Newcastle, keeping the Raiders momentarily in the finals hunt. Since then, they’ve lost five straight games. After three heartbreaking single-digit losses, Canberra finally closed out a win. The old ghosts looked to be returning when Foran closed the margin to six points with 30 minutes left, but two spectacular tries to captain Jarrod Croker (on the wing) gave Canberra enough breathing space. Jordan Rapana and Joseph Leilua were the catalysts, with Rapana making a 90-metre break for Leilua’s first try. For once Canberra got a big lead…and held onto it.

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While Canberra’s Bruce Stadium record has been poor (with six wins from their last 14), the crowd turned up to support their Raiders, with a live band performing a guitar-heavy version of “The Green Machine”and the traditional Viking Clap led by Victor the Viking (on drums) and sister Velda the Valkyrie. A great way to start the night and get the fans fired up. Canberra responded with a brilliant first half, both offensive and defensively, keeping Canterbury scoreless with some tenacious goal-line defence and keeping the intensity bar Foran’s second half try. Canberra can build some momentum, with another home game next Saturday night against the struggling Parramatta. It’s the kind of defensive determination that’s been missing, especially late in games. For Canterbury, it looks like a long season, with a tough trip to Townsville next Saturday night.

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It’s been a rough year so far for Canberra, and a big injury to Sam Williams (and three HIAs) didn’t help. With 20 minutes left, they’d used up their interchanges, with only Liam Knight left on the bench and Croker moving to the wing (the catalyst for Canberra’s game-sealing tries). Canterbury also lost Brett Morris with a head injury in the 10th minute after bravely chasing Rapana in the lead up to Canberra’ first try.

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Ricky Stuart – one of the most passionate Raiders men – attracted a lot of attention for his epic spray after the Manly game. Tonight he was back in his favourite spot, the sideline, riding every Canberra try. The Channel Nine commentators joked about getting sideline commentator Brad Fittler to safety when Canterbury closed the gap in the second half. Freddy needn’t have worried, as it was a happy Ricky during the post-game interview.

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Canberra coach Ricky Stuart was proud of his boys during the Channel Nine interview, “I can’t remember a tougher win in a green jumper. That was an unbelievable effort in regards to the people who got injured…back rowers filling in at halves, back rowers filling in at centres…I’ve very very proud of them. That was an amazing contribution from every individual. They made every ex-player proud tonight because they were tough.”

Dean Pay said Canterbury had a lot of areas to work on but “we’re just killing ourselves with errors and penalties. There’s some boys that are really busting their arse each and every week..we’re not getting our reward for what we’re doing.”


Tries: Croker 2, Leilua 2 tries
Goals: Croker 5/6
Drop Goals: NA

Tries: Kieran Foran, Josh Morris tries
Goals: Moses Mbye 1/2
Drop Goals: NA


Canberra:  2 Nick Cotric, 19 Michael Oldfield, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Aiden Sezer, 7 Sam Williams, 8 Iosia Soliola, 9 Siliva Havili, 10 Junior Paulo, 11 Joseph Tapine, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Luke Bateman

Interchange: 14 Ata Hingano, 15 Shannon Boyd, 16 Dunamis Lui, 17 Liam Knight

Canterbury-Bankstown: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson (c), 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Adam Elliott

Interchange: 15 Danny Fualalo, 17 Kerrod Holland, 19 Greg Eastwood, 20 Asipeli Fine

The Forward Pass is a weekly dose of footy-related satire and general nonsense. The author Andrew Pelechaty has been a freelance sportswriter since 2003 and has a BA and Grad Cert in Editing and Publishing.


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