Craig Cauchi reviews Canberra Raiders’ victorious return to GIO Stadium. Here’s how the game went.
|4th||Try Nick Cotric (Raiders)||Raiders 4-0|
|5th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders)||Raiders 6-0|
|14th||Try Bailey Simonsson (Raiders)||Raiders 10-0|
|15th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders)||Raiders 12-0|
|38th||Try George Williams (Raiders)||Raiders 16-0|
|39th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders)||Raiders 18-0|
|55th||Try Jarrod Croker (Raiders)||Raiders 22-0|
|59th||Try Matt Dufty (Dragons)||Raiders 22-4|
|63rd||Try Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Raiders 22-8|
|65th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Raiders 22-10|
|78th||Try Matt Dufty (Dragons)||Raiders 22-14|
|79th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Raiders 22-16|
Nick Cotric scored the first try of the match, the fourth time in a row between these two sides the winger has crossed the line first. On their first attacking opportunity Nicoll-Klokstad took advantage of Jason Saab running out of the line, and Cotric ran over Dufty to plant the ball over the line. A cross field kick from George Williams led to the Raiders second try, with Simonsson leaping over everyone and landing over the try line. After a great start it took until the end of the half for the Raiders to score their third try, this time halfback George Williams feigned to go out wide and stepped through the middle to score untouched.
It took a while for the Raiders to get into the second half but they were able to compose themselves and extend their lead with Jarrod Croker beating the defenders to the ball that was kicked through by Wighton. The Dragons hit back with Dufty getting to Corey Norman’s kick before any Raiders player could get near. The Dragons kept their slim hopes alive with a lovely try to Zac Lomax after he released Jason Saab down the wing with a nice flick pass and backed up to receive the pass from the winger. In the final minutes, Euan Aitken broke the line and passed it to Matt Dufty back up the middle in support to set up a grand stand finish. The Raiders held their line for the final set and ran away winners.
The Raiders got off to a fast start but after their second try they failed to find the last pass on a number of occasions. With a few minutes left until half-time, Josh Kerr lost the ball on the halfway line and from the ensuing set, Raiders’ playmaker George Williams stepped passed some lazy Dragons’ defenders to score a lovely try. The match changed in the second half and with the Dragons coming close to sending it into extra time, the try from Williams under the post ended up being quite telling.
Canberra Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Michael Oldfield 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 15. Emre Guler 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Iosia Soliola 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 16. Ryan Sutton 8. Josh Papali’i 13. Joseph Tapine 14. Curtis Scott 17. Siliva Havili
St George Illawarra Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jason Saab 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tyrell Fuimaono 13. Trent Merrin 14. Ben Hunt 15. Josh Kerr 16. Korbin Sims 17. Jackson Ford