Brendan Wood reviews the Canberra Raiders tough 14-6 win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday night. Here’s how the game went:
|18th||Try – Luke Brooks (Tigers)||Tigers 4-0|
|48th||Try – Jack Wighton (Raiders)||Raiders 6-4|
|55th||Try – Nick Cotric (Raiders)||Raiders 12-4|
|59th||Penalty Goal – Moses Mbye (Tigers)||Raiders 12-6|
|69th||Penalty Goal – Jarrod Croker (Raiders)||Raiders 14-6|
The early exchanges were an arm wrestle as both teams took time to get into a rhythm. In the 18th minute, the Tigers were the first to trouble the scorers. Curtis Scott made a meal of a cross field bomb on his own line, which was regathered by Luke Brooks who dived over to score. In the period of play following the try, the Raiders had the better of the field position and looked certain to respond with a try of their own.
However, the Tigers defence remained staunch as they held the Raiders at bay despite conceding several repeat sets. They survived a scare when an appeal for a penalty try was made by the Raiders, after Curtis Scott was obstructed when chasing through a kick. The video referee deemed Scott wouldn’t have got to the ball before Adam Doueihi, so no penalty was awarded. After surviving an attacking onslaught, the Tigers got their chance towards the end of the first half but couldn’t convert. They held off the Raiders the rest of the half and went into the break leading 4-0.
After being held scoreless in the first half, the Raiders came out of the sheds hungry to score. Jack Wighton made the most of some early repeat sets and crashed through some tiring defence to get the Raiders on the board. When the Raiders were on the charge again, Russell Packer gave away a penalty and was then sin-binned for a professional foul on Jordan Rapana. With the Tigers down to 12 men, the Raiders scored again when George Williams chipped a kick behind the Tigers defence for Nick Cotric to score untouched.
With Packer still off the field, the Tigers were able to take some time off the clock with a penalty goal to bring the score back within a converted try. They managed to hold off the Raiders until they were full strength again. Not long after he returned to the field, Russell Packer was in the spotlight again when he gave away a penalty for high contact on Joseph Tapine. Jarrod Croker converted the penalty goal to extend the Raiders’ lead to eight points. The score remained the same for the rest of the game, the Raiders holding on to outlast a gritty Tigers effort 14-6.
The game was a tough defensive battle from start to finish, with both teams suffering injuries and plenty of bumps and bruises. The highlight (or lowlight) of the game was the Russell Packer sin-binning for a professional foul early in the second half. This was a pivotal play, as at the time both teams were standing up with very physical defence and points were hard to come by.
It reduced the Tigers to 12 men, which allowed the Raiders to grab their second try out wide. At full strength, the Tigers looked solid defending the Raiders attacking challenges, only conceding the one try up to that point. Packer was again in the thick of things when he returned to the field. His intent and enthusiasm were a big boost to the Tigers, but resulted in giving away a crucial penalty to put the game outside a converted try, and ultimately helped the Raiders hold on to get the win.
Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Joseph Leilua, 4. Moses Mbye, 5. Tommy Talau, 6. Josh Reynolds, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Zane Musgrove, 11. Luciano Leilua, 12. Chris Lawrence, 13. Alex Twal Bench: 14. Thomas Mikaele, 15. Russell Packer, 16. Michael Chee-Kam, 17. Alex Seyfarth.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 5. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Curtis Scott, 17. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papali’i, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Joseph Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 16. Iosia Soliola Bench: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Emre Guler, 20. Ryan Sutton, 2. Bailey Simonsson.