Andrew Pelechaty reviews Canberra’s round one clash against the Gold Coast Titans. Here’s how the game went.
|2nd||Try Jack Wighton (Canberra)||Canberra 4-0|
|3rd||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 6-0|
|13th||Try Jack Wighton (Canberra)||Canberra 10-0|
|14th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 12-0|
|29th||Try Emre Guler (Canberra)||Canberra 16-0|
|31st||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 18-0|
|44th||Try Anthony Don (Gold Coast)||Canberra 18-4|
|46th||Goal Ashley Taylor (Gold Coast)||Canberra 18-6|
|65th||Try Elliott Whitehead (Canberra)||Canberra 22-6|
|66th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 24-6|
After concerns the game would be played infront of no crowd, the Canberra faithful showed up and started the game with the traditional Viking Clap. They were rewarded by a fast start from their Raiders: Clive Churchill Medallist Jack Wighton scored two tries as Canberra raced the clock, leading 12-0 after 14 minutes. Emre Guler scored 15 minutes later, extending Canberra’s lead to 18-0, a fair reflection of a dominant first half where they completed 20 of 24 sets. It wasn’t all great news for Canberra, with Charnze Nicoll-Kloskstad only playing 35 minutes after leaving the field with a HIA.
The Titans gave themselves a sniff early, with Anthony Don scoring four minutes after halftime. They held firm for the next 20 minutes before Elliot Whitehead sealed the win. While the Raiders made 13 errors to the Titans’ 12, most of them in a scrappier second half, they never looked like losing after a fast start (proof the dreaded “Faiders” days are behind them for now). The Titans missed 48 tackles, but they weren’t completely embarrassed against last year’s grand finalists. They should win their share of games this year, and provide some nuisance value against stronger teams.
The star of last year’s grand final, Jack Wighton gave the Raiders a match-winning lead with two tries. That brace was complemented by a brilliant kicking game. “The God of Footy” hitting form this early is a great sign for Canberra fans. There were promising signs too for George Williams, with a first half break nearly leading to Canberra’s third try.
Canberra Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Corey Horsburgh, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joseph Tapine. INTERCHANGE: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Sia Sliola, 17. Michael Oldfield.
Gold Coast Titans: 1. Phillip Sami, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Tyrone Peachey, 5. Dale Copley, 6. Tyrone Roberts, 7. Ash Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Sam Lisone, 11. Kevin Proctor (c), 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Jai Arrow. INTERCHANGE: 14. Nathan Peats, 16. Jai Whitbread, 17. Brian Kelly, 18. Jaimin Jollife.