Andrew Pelechaty reviews Canberra’s must-win game against Manly Warringah …
Canberra Raiders 48
Tries: Hudson Young 2 (21, 50), Jordan Rapana (5), Xavier Savage (13), Tom Starling (25), Jamal Fogarty (28), Albert Hopoate (66), Sebastian Kris (69), Corey Harawira-Naera (71)
Goals: Jamal Fogarty 6 (15, 22, 27, 28, 51, 67)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 6
Tries: Ethan Bullemor (62)
Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans (64)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
This clash – between two spicy rivals – took on extra importance after Brisbane were slaughtered on Friday night, opening the door for Canberra to jump into the eight with a win at Bruce Stadium today. The home crowd’s mood was boosted by the Raiders’ NSW Cup side beating the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and farewelling an emotional Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. As for Manly, they would love to ruin the Raiders’ finals hopes, despite not winning a game since Round 18.
The first-grade side backed up those good vibes with a length-of-the-field try after five minutes, finished off by Jordan Rapana after a beautiful long cut-out pass from Jack Wighton.
Another length try was started by Hudson Young: he caught a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber, ran upfield 20 metres and passed to Wighton, who then passed to Xavier Savage to finish off.
Young got his own try in the 21st minute, picking up the crumbs off a Jamal Fogarty cross-field kick. Fogarty converted for a 16-0 lead.
Tom Starling – who’d just come on – made it four in the first half as the Milk went down the left edge. For once, Canberra looked switched on for such an important game and were looking to throw the footy around.
Canberra kept going – albeit with some luck – as Fogarty got a nice bounce off a Rapana kick. Fogarty converted his own try for a 28-0 lead.
Canberra added to their total early in the second half with Young barging over for his second, giving the Milk a 34-0 lead.
Manly finally scored through Ethan Bullemor, but it was far too late.
Albert Hopoate’s try pushed Canberra to 40, then Sebastian Kris made it eight tries. Could the Milk hit 50? Corey Harawira-Naera ensured they’d get close with a try in the left corner as it became party time at Bruce Stadium: easily Canberra’s most dominant display since 2019 (when they beat the Warriors 46-12 in Round 20).
While Rapana missed a late penalty goal to push Canberra to 50, the Milk still entered the eight with a crucial +43 points differential advantage over Brisbane.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Xavier Savage (Raiders), 2 pts – Hudson Young (Raiders), 1 pt – Jordan Rapana (Raiders)
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