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2022 NRL Round 1, Raiders 24 Sharks 19 – Report

Jack Harbidge reviews the Round 1 clash as the Raiders host the Sharks at GIO Stadium…

MATCHDAY RESULTS

SCOREBOARD

Canberra Raiders 24
Tries: Jack Wighton 8, Semi Valemei 16, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 37, Hudson Young 75
Goals: Brad Schneider 9, 17, 39, 76

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 19
Tries: Blayke Brailey 22, William Kennedy 49, Teig Wilton 53
Goals: Nicholas Hynes 24, 50, 54 Field Goal: Matt Moylan 72

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

Playing their first home game since July 2021, the Raiders shot out of the gates of their first round clash following a plethora of Sharks errors and ill-discipline early on. Despite losing Josh Hodgson to a meniscus injury, the home side crossed after just eight minutes (Jack Wighton celebrating his 200th NRL game with the opening try) and continued to pile the pressure on the Sharks off the back of the kick off. More errors ensued from the away side and the Raiders capitalised on their ascendency once more with Semi Valemei finishing his line break to put the red hot Raiders 10 points ahead with just 16 minutes played.

Brad Schneider knocked over his second conversion of the night to stretch the lead to 12 but Cronulla soon answered through Blayke Brailey; Nicho Hynes’ conversion cut the lead in half with 16 minutes left to play in the half. The two sides traded errors for the majority of the third quarter of the half before Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad reinstated the Raiders’ lead just before the half-time hooter.

HALF-TIME: Canberra Raiders 18 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 6

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2nd Half

The second half was somewhat of a reverse of the first, with the Sharks getting the upper hand early on to ultimately capitalise with just under 10 minutes of the half played. William Kennedy’s try was quickly backed up by another from Teig Wilton, who crossed just four minutes later off the back of an error from the Raiders. Hynes converted the try to level the scores and the all too familiar second half lapse from the Raiders appeared to be in full flow. The home side managed to steady the ship however, and the game remained deadlocked until Matt Moylan kicked a one point field goal with eight minutes to play.

The field goal somewhat invigorated the Raiders, and after being gifted a relieving penalty in their own half from Jesse Ramien, the Green Machine drove down the field with purpose and gambled on the last tackle. With Wighton having chosen to run the ball on the last, Hudson Young engineered a clinical ‘no look’ short ball for Matt Timoko to break through and get an offload back to Young who finished off with a great deal of strength to score the winning try. The Sharks had one final shot in the last minute, with Matt Ikuvalu barging for the left corner, but a slew of Raiders defenders held up him before the line.

FULL-TIME: Canberra Raiders 24 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 19

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 pts – Jack Wighton (Raiders), 2 pts -Brad Schneider (Raiders), 1 pt – Nicho Hynes (Sharks)

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Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. James Schiller 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Semi Valemei 6. Jack Wighton 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Elliott Whitehead 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Adam Elliott 17. Corey Horsburgh 23. Xavier Savage

Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ronaldo Mulitalo 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Siosifa Talakai 16. Royce Hunt 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Luke Metcalf

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