The Canberra Raiders NYC team have been blown away by the Gold Coast Titans 60-22, despite at one stage leading three tries to nil after just 14 minutes.
It was a frustrating game for the Raiders who at one stage looked like they were going to score a comprehensive win, only to be thrashed by their opposition. The Raiders have struggled on the road this season, and this was another game where they were completely played off the park by their opposing team.
Seven consecutive tries after the Raiders first three tries gave the Titans a lead, and they snuffed out any challenge the Raiders looked to put up in the second half controlling possession, and scoring points almost at will.
The loss for the Raiders all but snuffs out any hopes of a finals berth. Coming into the game Canberra needed a win, and they got the perfect start after Thomas Cronan was able to jump onto a loose ball following an error from Titans winger Brian Kelly, and score his first try in the Holden Cup competition.
Doyle converted the try to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead after just three minutes.
The Canberra’s left hand attack was causing the Titans all sorts of trouble with Matthew Frawley being irresistible in attack. Frawley had a hand in the second try when he set up Doyle who was able to spin out of some soft defence and slam the ball down for the Raiders 2nd try of the match.
Doyle missed the conversion leaving the Raiders with a 10-0 lead following 12 minutes of play.
Canberra were enjoying 63% possession early, and on the next set Dylan McGrath was able to break the Titans line and find Jono Kent on his outside who continued the Raiders early dominance in the game.
Doyle added the extras, and suddenly the Raiders were out to a 16 point lead.
However an error from the Raiders’ coming out of their own half shifted momentum to the Titans and they managed to rip the game away from the Raiders with seven consecutive tries. Kelly scored the first points for the Titans on the next set after the error, but the conversion from Deacon Fletcher unsuccessful.
The Titans then enjoyed time in possession and Christian Hazard found Jaiden Hawkes who was able to stroll in close to the posts. Kane Elgey took over the kicking duties and added the extras to bring the Titans back to within a converted try after 26 minutes.
Moments later it looked like Lachlan Hurst had scored in the corner, but the decision was overturned via the Captain’s challenge as the ball bobbled out of the wingers hands. It should’ve been a penalty to the Raiders though as Jahrome Hughes slid into the challenge with Hurst, forcing the error.
Some enterprising play from the Titans on the last led to a try to Hazard. Elgey added the extras to tie the scores at 16 a piece with 2 minutes remaining in the half.
Hawkes then gave the Titans the lead when he was able to run out of dummy half and score under the posts. Elgey’s conversion was successful to give the Titans a 22-16 lead after 43 minutes.
It was becoming an avalanche as the Titans were in again on the next set, this time a Broadhurst grubber put Hazard through untouched. Elgey again added the extras to give the Titans a two try buffer.
The game was becoming heated but the Titans hit the Raiders where it mattered which was on the scoreboard. This time Jackson Clarke scored the try for the Titans and Elgey converted the try to give the Titans an emphatic 34-16 lead.
If there was any hope of the Raiders making finals those chances were crushed when Karl Lawton crossed for the Titans. If anything was going to go the Raiders’ way it was Elgey missing the conversion and then the Raiders scoring from the kick off.
They got both of those things as Fletcher let the kick off bounce and Brett Solomon was able to gather the bouncing ball and charge over to score. Doyle added the extras to give the Raiders hope with 18 minutes to go despite being down 38-22.
The challenge was short lived though as an error coming out of their own half gifted the Titans perfect field position. Kelly was on the receiving end scoring out wide, Deacon Fletcher took back the kicking duties and missed. The score was unflattering for the Raiders at 42-22 with just over 15 minutes to go.
Canberra then self-destructed with Creith offside from the kick off giving the Titans cheap field position, and then Francis Fifita and Doyle were sent to the sin bin for a bit of push and shove.
The Raiders then conceded two quick tries to Lawton who got his double and Hughes who joined the scorers. Fletcher converted both tries to give the Titans a massive 54-22 lead with just over three minutes to go.
To rub salt in the wounds Elgey raced 80 metres to score a comprehensive try for the Titans, when it looked like the Raiders may have scored at the other end. Fletcher converted the try to give the Titans a comprehensive 60-22 win.
Gold Coast Titans 60
Tries: Hawkes 2, Hazard 2, Kelly 2, Lawton 2, Clarke, Hughes, Elgey; Fletcher 3, Elgey 5 Goals
Canberra Raiders 22
Tries: Cronan, Doyle, Kent, Solomon; Doyle 3 Goals