The newly recruited halfback showed exactly what Canberra have been missing in recent weeks with a dominant display. The greasy conditions required intelligent kicking and the former Bulldogs junior delivered. He peppered Sam Perrett in particular, regularly trapping the Bulldogs in the right-hand corner.
It wasn’t just his kicking that was impressive, though. He played a sublime pass to Josh Papalii to set up the first try of the match and he almost scored a try of his own, in a play that resulted in a Raiders’ penalty. Whenever a player performs well with Origin on the horizon, they are often prematurely touted for a Blue or Maroon jersey. However, Sezer would not look out of place with the number 7 on his back for NSW.
Canberra premiership bolters?
The Raiders were able to field an almost full-strength team for the second time this season. Although Austin wasn’t at his best a spine boasting Wighton, Austin, Sezer and Hodgson is one of the best in the competition. It’s only early days but Canberra have a team capable of mixing it with the best. In their toughest game of the season so far, Canberra stood up to the test.
If Canberra is able to keep the players within their spine fit, they have plenty of depth elsewhere. Their feeder team the Mounties, have started the season strongly and contain players with NRL experience.
Second half woes halt
Once again the Raiders started quickly and it was that opening 20 minutes that won them the game. Unlike the last two weeks, their defence held firm for the rest of the match to make their effort count.
Early in proceedings, the Bulldogs had no answers to the Raiders pack who ran riot. Canterbury was able to get into an arm wrestle late in the first half and continue it for the rest of the game. For the first time this season, Canberra’s defence held on and didn’t give the Bulldogs an opportunity to storm back into the game.
T-Rex near his best but needs more discipline
Tony Williams has struggled since his move to Dogs but has looked like his old self in recent weeks. In a Bulldogs’ attack that lacked direction, Williams was a thorn in the Raiders’ side. His running game was direct and his offload created an opportunity for his outside backs.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Williams also gave away needless penalties and is on report. If he can rid his game of those mistakes, Williams may be able to justify Hasler’s faith in him.
IN THE SHEDS
Chase Stanley – Hamstring
Tony Williams – On report
Sam Kasiano – On report
Sia Soliola – Broken arm
Shannon Boyd – On report
Tries: Croker 2, Wighton
Goals: Croker 5/5
Tries: Reynolds, Hopoate
Goals: Mbye 0/2