The Canberra Raiders NYC team has put together a complete performance to down the Canterbury Bulldogs 44-26 at GIO Stadium.
Five consecutive tries to open the first half set the tone for what was a commanding performance from the young Raiders, with the win snapping a run of three consecutive losses for the Canberra side.
Scott Doyle was at his damaging best in what was a stellar performance from the Raiders backrower. He helped himself to a hat-trick and 24 points in a great individual performance which earned him man of the match honours.
Andrew Heffernan made his return to the side this week, and the five eighth opened the scoring in the 2nd minute following a pass from Matthew Frawley who drew the fullback and sent Heffernan through to score.
Scott Doyle converted the try to give the Raiders the perfect start to the game.
Doyle was able to extend the Raiders lead when he jumped on a loose ball in the Canterbury in goal area. He missed the conversion leaving the Raiders with a 10-0 lead after eight minutes.
Moments later a cross field kick bounced back off a Bulldog’s hand and Doyle gathered the loose ball racing 80 metres to score under the posts. He converted his own try giving the Raiders a 16-0 lead after just 12 minutes.
It was quickly becoming Doyle’s night as moments later he put Lachlan Hurst over for a try. He converted the try with the Raiders jumping out to a commanding 22-0 lead.
Canberra then defended against five consecutive sets from the Bulldogs as the momentum swinged towards the Canterbury side. The Raiders defended manfully and survived the onslaught with Bulldogs winger Dujuan Liolevave dropping the ball as he was about to score.
Frawley was able to further extend the Raiders lead when he danced his way over from 30 metres out following some weak defence from the Bulldogs. Doyle converted the try to give the Raiders a 28-0 lead with 12 minutes to go in the half.
The Bulldogs who faced a similar deficit last week weren’t going down without a fight. As a nice short ball put Renouf To’Omaga over. Brad Keighran converted the try to reduce the deficit to 22 with six minutes left in the first half.
The revival was short lived though as Mitchell Barnett was put through a gap and he scored under the posts. Doyle converted the try to restore the 28 point lead three minutes before half time. The Raiders defended a late attempt from the Bulldogs leaving the Raiders with a 34-6 lead at half time.
Doyle completed his hat-trick to open the scoring in the 2nd half. He couldn’t convert his own try giving the Raiders with a 38-6 lead after 48 minutes.
Two tries to Canterbury backrower Sam Gerrey-Burgess gave the Bulldogs some hope. With Keighran only able to convert one of the tries leaving the Raiders with a 38-16 lead with 20 minutes to go.
Canterbury continued their charge at the Raiders with a try to Alex Sorge following a penalty off the kick off. Keighran hit the post with his conversion leaving the Raiders with a three try advantage with 17 minutes to go.
Canberra’s defence was the best it has been all season with the Raiders determined to protect their lead following multiple attempts from the Bulldogs.
With the game turning into an arm wrestle in the dying moments of the game, Barnett was able to break the Canterbury line and offload to Jack Creith who raced 40 metres to score untouched under the posts.
Doyle converted the try to give the Raiders a 44-20 lead with three minutes to go in the match.
A late try to David Murphy gave the scoreboard a little bit of respectability. Keighran converted the try after the siren to leave the Raiders with a 44-26 win.
The win was a great performance from the Raiders who dominated the first half which set up the convincing win. Next week the Raiders travel to Campbelltown Stadium to take on the Wests Tigers.
Canberra Raiders 44
Tries: Doyle 3, Heffernan, Hurst, Frawley, Barnett, Creith; Doyle 6 Goals
Canterbury Bulldogs 26
Tries: 2 Gerrey-Burgess, To’Omaga, Sorge, Murphy; Keighran 3 goals