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ROUND 15 MATCH REPORT | Gold Coast Titans 16-36 Canberra Raiders

Mitch Bourke reviews Canberra’s win over the Gold Coast Titans on a sunny Queensland afternoon. Here’s how the game went.

MATCH TIMELINE

Minute Scoring Play Score
13th Try Phillip Sami (Titans) Titans 4-0
18th Try Nick Cotric (Raiders) Scores tied 4-4
24th Try Jack Wighton (Raiders) Raiders 8-4
26th Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders) Raiders 10-4
28th Try Jack Wighton (Raiders) Raiders 14-4
29th Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders) Raiders 16-4
35th Try Tom Starling (Raiders) Raiders 20-4
36th Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders) Raiders 22-4
54th Try Alexander Brimson (Titans) Raiders 22-8
55th Goal Jamal Fogarty (Titans) Raiders 22-10
58th Try Hudson Young (Raiders) Raiders 26-10
60th Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders) Raiders 28-10
63rd Try Nick Cotric (Raiders) Raiders 32-10
64th Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders) Raiders 34-10
73rd Try Keegan Hipgrave (Titans) Raiders 34-14
73rd Goal Jamal Fogarty (Titans) Raiders 34-16
75th Penalty Goal Jarrod Croker (Raiders) Raiders 36-16

MATCH SUMMARY

1st Half

A depleted Titans outfit, missing the likes of Jai Arrow and Kevin Proctor, started with plenty of promise, but the Raiders were devastating once they found their groove, finishing the first half with 59% possession and a 22-4 lead.

It was the Gold Coast making an early statement off the back of Tanah Boyd’s grubber to the in-goal. A sharp and deceitful bounce made a fool of Nick Cotric and fell perfectly for Phillip Sami to draw first blood.

Cotric made amends minutes later, benefiting from some Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad brilliance to find himself isolated in the right corner after a lethal double pump cut-out ball.

Jack Wighton masterminded Canberra’s second try, running around to get what he gave from Elliott Whitehead, before using Jordan Rapana as his pawn to break the line and put the Raiders in front.

Canberra’s third was credited to more Wighton brilliance, this time stepping his way to a double inside the opening half-hour of play.

Tom Starling capped off a stellar half with his first NRL try, showing the ball out of dummy half then lunging over the stripe.

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2nd Half

Failing to maintain their first-half intensity, an underwhelming 15 minutes from Canberra left the door slightly ajar for a Gold Coast comeback.

Jamal Fogarty and Alexander Brimson combined to put a Titans foot through that door: Brimson forced and swivelled his way to the line, and cut the margin to two tries.

That try snapped the Raiders back into action with a warranted quick reply from Hudson Young, bullying his way over the line.

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The Gold Coast still had the slightest sniff, but dropped off. First, it was Tyrone Peachey knocking-on at the back of the scrum, then soon after a poor Phillip Sami pass was stolen out of the air by Cotric to earn a double of his own.

Playing for their pride, the Titans lifted late and Keegan Hipgrave hit Peachey’s pass at speed, busting over from close range.

Canberra’s game management sealed the result, taking a penalty goal and then winding down the clock with tactical kicks.

The Titans showed some positive signs and took control of the game for patches, but it wasn’t enough to match it with the Raiders over 80 minutes.

Brimson led the way with four tackle breaks and 100 first-half metres. The Gold Coast come up against the Dragons next Friday night and could be a chance to pick up their fifth win of the year.

Wighton’s dazzling first-half double set the tone for Canberra’s night and he was instrumental to their valuable half time buffer. Cotric broke nine tackles to go with his double, and Ryan Sutton ran for 206 metres.

The Raiders have clinched fourth sport for now and keep winning games in Josh Hodgson’s absence. They’re looming larger by the week and have a very winnable game against the Bulldogs next Sunday, before a crunch match to more than likely decide fourth spot against reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters.

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GAME HIGHLIGHT

There were sparkling tries, but it was an inspirational try-saver and a Sliding Doors moment from Josh Papalii that couldn’t be overlooked. Jamal Fogarty caught the ball in-goal and blazed away for his 20-metre tap, catching Canberra off guard. Fogarty had covered three-quarters of the field and there was nothing but fresh air between him and four points until an unlikely hero arose. Having started on the bench, Papalii’s legs were relatively fresh and he motored down the slighter half back. Fogarty cut right and Papalii seized the moment, throwing himself forward and completing one of the ankle taps of the year to keep the Gold Coast at bay.

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SQUADS

Gold Coast Titans: 1. Alexander Brimson, 18. Corey Thompson, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Young Tonumaipea, 5. Phillip Sami, 19. Tanah Boyd, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Jaimin Jolliffe, 17. Sam Stone, 12. Keegan Hipgrave, 13. Moeaki Fotuaika. Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Beau Fermor, 20. Jai Whitbread.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Kloksatd, 2. Jordan Rapana, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 16. Ryan Sutton, 9. Siliva Havili, 15. Joseph Tapine, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera. Interchange: 8. Josh Papalii, 10. Dunamis Lui, 13. Hudson Young, 14. Tom Starling.

 

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