Earlier in the season the Canberra Raiders NYC team completed a come from behind victory against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Sydney. This afternoon the side looked for much of the second half like they were going to complete a spirited victory before a five minute patch from the Rabbitohs stole the game away from the Raiders.
It looked like the Raiders were going to repeat their effort from earlier in the season but they were unable to make the most of their last chance, with an error with 20 seconds to go removing any chance of a Raiders victory, with the side going down 22-18.
It was a much improved performance from the side who were bolstered by the return of Tevita Pangai Junior and Scott Doyle.
They were under pressure early in the game with the Rabbitohs controlling possession for the first five minutes of the game. Some excellent defence from the Raiders was able to force the error from the Rabbitohs, in a defensive display that would’ve satisfied coach Mick Mantelli.
The Raiders nearly scored on the next set after going 80 metres, but Jono Kent was unable to get the ball down on the last tackle being held up in goal. They scored on their next set in possession when Ricky Garard was able to race away to score after a nice break from Jack Williams.
Scott Doyle was unsuccessful with the conversion leaving the Raiders with a four point lead after 10 minutes. South Sydney was able to hit back through halfback Brad Wall, they took the lead when Wallace Tangiiti was able to convert the try giving the Rabbitohs a 6-4 lead after 19 minutes.
Wall then tested Kent under the high ball, and the fullback showed courage to not only take the ball in mid-air but also take a hit from the Rabbitohs’ rushing defence to earn the Raiders a penalty.
It proved fruitful for the Raiders who scored on the next set courtesy of Scott Doyle who kept his impressive try scoring rate intact. Doyle missed the conversion leaving the Raiders with a slender two point lead.
Canberra then lost forward Carne Doyle-Manga who left the field holding his arm and went straight up the tunnel. The charging forward had been a strong contributor since his debut against the Tigers.
The Rabbitohs took back the lead through John Olive who was able to make the most of a one-on-one with Kent. Tangiiti missed the conversion leaving the Rabbitohs with a 10-8 lead at half time.
Despite being behind on the scoreboard the Raiders were looking dangerous in attack, and if not for some minor lapses in defence could’ve kept the Rabbitohs scoreless in the opening stanza.
Canberra dominated the start to the 2nd half and following a weight of possession were able to score when Garard scooted out of dummy half to score next to the posts. Kent took over the kicking duties and converted the try to take the Raiders out to a 4 point advantage nine minutes into the 2nd half.
A moment of brilliant from Kent put Lachlan Hurst go over for his 20th try of the season, Kent was able to get on the outside of the Rabbitohs’ defence and then flick the ball out to Hurst who did the rest as he usually does on the edges. Doyle then hit the upright with the conversion with the score remaining 18-10 in favour of the Raiders.
An error coming out of their own half gifted the Rabbitohs a chance in the Raiders half, their momentum was halted as Sam Manuleleua was brought from the field with what looked like concussion.
Canberra were then great in defence holding Souths up twice before rushing up on the last and forcing the error. The game then heated up following an error from Canberra with both sides happy to have a bit of a push and shove before the referee Phil Henderson intervened.
After a tight few moments the Rabbitohs were able to bring the margin back when Tom Hughes was able to score off a line break. Tangiiti converted the try to bring the Raiders lead back to two with seven minutes to go.
South Sydney then took the lead after going 80 metres off the kick off with Cameron McInnes scoring the try to put Souths in the lead. The try was converted to give the Rabbitohs a 22-18 lead in the 75th minute.
Canberra looked like they were going to complete another last gasp win similar to their early season encounter with the Rabbitohs but an error with 20 seconds to go snuffed out any chance of another comeback.
In a solid game back from injury Scott Doyle was named man of the match for the Raiders in another solid outing from the Raiders’ forward. The Raiders will return to GIO Stadium next Sunday to take on the Warriors keen to avenge an early season drubbing in New Zealand.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 22
Tries: Wall, Olive, Hughes, McInnes; Tangiiti 3 Goals
Canberra Raiders 18
Tries: Garard 2, Doyle, Hurst; Kent 1 Goals