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NYC Match Report: Raiders bounce back to smash Tigers

Ricky Kelly

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The Canberra Raiders have beaten the West Tigers in a dominating display at Canberra Stadium today, winning 54 points to 10.

The Raiders found themselves on the back foot early in the match with the Tigers having possession of the ball for the first seven minutes of the game.

This lead to the first try just two minutes in, when Tigers winger Connelly Lemuelu found the corner.

After being awarded a couple of penalties in their following sets, the Tigers scored again after a strong run from Five Eighth Hosea Leuea. Leuea converted his own try to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.

The Raiders bounced back five minutes later, after some good defensive pressure forced errors from the Tigers in their own twenty. Hooker Jarred Tuite scooted from dummy half and found the line, making the score 10-6 after fifteen minutes.

Errors were starting to hurt both teams in the middle period of the first half as Wests were gifting Canberra opportunities at their line with some basics errors. Canberra failed to capitalise however, dropping the ball at stages where play was looking promising.

With ten minutes to go in the first half the Tigers failed to set their scrum properly handing the Raiders a penalty and gifting them an opportunity to level on the Tigers line. They took this opportunity when centre Sebastian Kris showed great strength to get the ball down following a strong run.

Raiders fullback Harry Van Dartel knocked over his second conversion to give the Raiders a 12 point to 10 lead.

Three minutes before the break the Raiders crashed over again after second row Jack Murchie dived on a loose ball following an error from the Tigers in their own in goal, giving the Raiders an eight-point lead at half time.

Canberra started the second half poorly after Mikaele Ravalawa dropped the ball in their first set of the half. This was soon forgotten when Raiders Captain Kalani Going pierced a gap and scored ten metres to the left of the posts. Harry Van Dartel kicked his fourth conversion and made it 24 points to 10.

The match was all but over mid-way through the half after the Raiders piled on two more tries. Forward William Samuel found the line and centre Sebastian Kris claimed his second of the afternoon.

For the remainder of the match the Tigers attack was flat and players were becoming tired, as the Raiders were working the ball out of their own half with ease.

Raiders captain Kalani Going scored his second try of the match with six minutes remaining in the match. Three minutes later Sato Ketia-Opo put the cherry on top for the Raiders scoring a break away try to give the hosts a 44-point lead.

Canberra full back Harry Van Dartel received the man of the match in an impressive display at the back. He kicked 9/9 conversions for the afternoon as the Raiders came out with a 54 to 10 point win.

Canberra Raiders 54 (Tuite, Kris 2, Murchie, Going 2, Samuel, Guler, Ketia-Opo, Van-Dartel 9/9) defeated West Tigers 10 (Lemuelu, Leuea, Leuea 1/2)