MATCH REPORT | Canberra Raiders 30-12 Penrith Panthers

The Canberra Raiders consolidated their spot in the NRL top 4 after a comprehensive 30-12 victory over the Penrith Panthers in Wagga.

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The Penrith Panthers slumped to their fourth straight defeat after being completely outplayed by a spirited Canberra Raiders side in Wagga. Penrith are in a world of hurt, after losing Isaah Yeo, Viliame Kikau and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak through injury during a tough 80 minutes, Canberra also lost Joey Leilua before kick-off and their star John Bateman during the match.

The Raiders were first to score through Michael Oldfield after a beautiful kick from Sam Williams, they then lost Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad as he was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul, however Canberra seemed determined throughout that period, they did not concede any point but scored a try themselves via Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker then added a penalty goal for a 14-0 half time lead.

Penrith needed to be next to score and they did 10 minutes into the second half, as a ricochet landed in the hands of Nathan Cleary who scores basically untouched, however Nicoll-Klokstad ended any chance of a Penrith comeback with a try five minutes after and then in the 72nd minute, young gun Hudson Young put the game beyond doubt with a great solo try. Penrith executed a beautiful short kick-off where prop James Tamou scored a terrific try to give Penrith fans something to cheer about, but it was too little too late as Jarrod Croker kicked a penalty goal after the siren for a 30-12 victory.


Painful Panthers

Not only are Penrith at the bottom of the NRL table, but now they have lost star players Isaah Yeo and Viliame Kikau with both players set for long stints on the sideline. It adds to the misery of their poor start to the season, with no real ready replacements for both men, it just made coach Ivan Cleary’s job just that little bit harder than it already is.

Resilient Raiders

The ‘Green Machine’ are going about their business quite nicely, they too are dealing with injuries, however their defence and never say die attitude is credit to their style of play in 2019. Coach Ricky Stuart has done wonders with this side as they sit inside the top 4, with the Raiders really pushing their credentials, the Jack Wighton move to the halves has paid off thus far and he is the star of the show as a long awaited finals appearance seems to be turning into a reality.

Cleary Clearly Under Pressure

Ivan Cleary ventured further west to coach his son Nathan Cleary in a highly publicised move, however it has not gone to plan thus far. Penrith are struggling to score points, they have the second worst attack in the competition and their halves in James Maloney and Cleary are coming under the microscope, the 2018 NSW halves pairing are under fire and things must happen soon if Ivan Cleary can get his side out of this current run of form.


How good are the Poms going… Seriously! This is said every week, but they are that good it is worth mentioning. Lock Ryan Sutton was man of the match running for 139 metres, Elliot Whitehead made so many key tackles on Viliame Kikau, Josh Hodgson looked dangerous every possession and while on the park, John Bateman was his usual self… Bateman will be missed but there is enough there to suggest they can cover his loss. Canberra may need to run out the ‘God Save the Queen’ soon!


Canberra Raiders 30
Tries: Michael Oldfield, Jack Wighton, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Hudson Young
Goals: Jarrod Croker 7/7

Penrith Panthers 12
Tries: Nathan Cleary, James Tamou
Goals: Nathan Cleary 2/2


Canberra Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 19. Michael Oldfield 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton INTERCHANGE: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Hudson Young 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Corey Horsburgh

Penrith Panthers: 1. Caleb Aikens 2, Josh Mansour 3. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 4. Waqa Blake 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 6. James Maloney 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Wayde Egan 10. Tim Grant 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo 13. James Fisher-Harris Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa 15. Liam Martin 16. Moses Leota 17. Reagan Campbell-Gillard



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