The Raiders Harold Matthews side have continued their unbeaten run to the year by trumping the Central Coast Centurions 30-6. The SG Ball side registered their first loss of the year, falling 38-32 to the Central Coast. 

Harold Matthews Cup (Under 16s)

The Canberra Raiders Harold Matthews side has continued their stellar start to the year with a comprehensive 30-6 defeat of the Central Coast Centurions at Mory Breen Oval.

Canberra had got their season off to a cracking start with a 20-10 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs in Round 1 and backed it up again this week with another impressive showing.

After an evenly matched opening to the game, the Raiders’ superior fitness and enthusiasm levels wore the Centurions down and the Green Machine went into the sheds leading 18-0.

“It was a very even start to the game with both sides trading sets, but after defending back-to-back sets early in the first half we took advantage of Central Coast’s errors and started to play with some good shape,” Coach Adam Kyle said.  

“The boys stuck to the plan of playing with enthusiasm and energy and really worked hard in defence.

“Our defence again was really strong throughout the game. The boys have set goals this season around making sure we defend strongly as a unit and so far it’s working well for us. As long as we keep working hard together the benefits will show.”

On the back of a staunch defensive effort, the Raiders registered three more tries in the second stanza with Under 15 Australian representative fullback Nick Cotric and centre-cum-back-rower Matthew finishing with doubles.

Whilst proud of the enthusiasm and resolute defensive effort portrayed by his side, Kyle believes that their composure and fluency in attack still needs work.

This is forgivable though considering it is still Round 2 of the competition.

“Our composure at times was lacking,” Kyle said. “We had a few chances in the game to put sustained pressure on the Central Coast but a few too many errors held us back.

“The boys are still learning what it’s like to play at this level and we can take some positive notes from this game.”

Another feature of the side’s play that needs some practice is their goal kicking considering they landed just one from seven attempts.

“There was a slight breeze but nothing major. Our middle unit have been letting us know they can kick if needed,” laughed Kyle.

Nonetheless, the young Raiders remain undefeated after two rounds and are sitting fourth on the ladder.

“We’re proud of the boy’s efforts but we don’t really look to much into ladder position in this age group,” Kyle said. “We just need to focus on being the best players and playing group as we can. If we can continue to learn and progress results will look after themselves.”

Canberra 30 (Nikola Cotric 2, Mathew Lyons 2, Bailey Simonsson, Jese Smith-Shields, Casey Wall tries; Lachlan Cooper goal) def. Central Coast 6 (Blake Storm try; Jayden Jones goal)

SG Ball (Under 18s)

Central Coast 38 (Jesse Bogle 2, Jacob Liddle 2, Jacob Saifiti 2, Luke Sharpe tries; Bailey Shiach-Wise 4, Natthew Downey goals) def. Canberra 32 (Lachlan Croker 2, Sione Afemui, Ryan Griffin, Christopher Hart, Leon Tupuola tries; Christopher Hart 4 goals)

Match Report to come.