A dominating bounce back performance for the Canberra Raiders Holden Cup team has seen them run all over the St George Illawarra Dragons in an eleven-tries-to-two victory at GIO Stadium.
Raiders playmaker and Captain Lachlan Croker initiated the first try, making a 30 metre break up the middle of the park before managing to get a pass inside to Lachlan Lewis who was brought down in a tackle. During the next play the ball found its way to Brenko Lee who crashed over for a try in the fourth minute. Unfortunately Croker was unable to convert leaving the score 4-0.
After a Dragons error twenty metres away from the Raiders try line the Green Machine made them pay. Jack Williams broke the Dragons defence open palming off a would be tackle from Dragons full back Leigh Higgins to score under the post making for an easy conversion attempt for Croker, leaving them with an ten point lead with 14 minutes gone.
The Green Machine continued to pile on the pressure on the Dragons scoring their third unanswered try. Lee found his way across for his second try breaking three tackles and crossing to score in the 19th minute. Croker added the extra two for a 16 point lead.
Back-to-back tries for the Raiders followed after Tevita Pengai Junior crossed carring three Dragons defenders with him to score under the upright. Croker knocked over the extra two for a 22 point lead.
Things just kept getting worse for the Dragons when the following kick off sailed out on the full. The Green Machine capitalised on this and scored in the following set through Andrew Heffernan in the 26th minute giving his side a 26 point lead.
Strong Raiders defence held out a promising attack by the Dragons after their playmaker Adam Clune broke open the Raiders defence and ran 20 metres. The only downside for the Raiders was that their previous try scorer Heffernan came off with a serious injury.
The Raiders counter attack then allowed them to score their sixth try of the half. Brenko Lee intercepted a pass on Canberra's twenty metre line and ran 30 metres before being tackled. The Raiders then spread the ball wide to capitilise on space and crossed through Croker in the 35th minute. Croker then converted his own try for a 32-0 lead.
The scoring was still not over for the first half with Croker intercepting another pass from the Dragons and running 30 metres to again score. Unfortunately he could not convert, making the score 36-0 at halftime.
The second half did not start the way the Raiders would have wanted. An error in their half allowed the Dragons to score in the following set in the corner through Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards leaving the score at 36-4 after the conversion was missed.
The Green Machine was quick to restore the large lead with Williams scoring his second try of the game after the Dragons fifth tackle kick went out on the full. Croker successfully converted.
The domination continued for the Raiders who scored their ninth try of the game. After achieving a repeat set the Raiders capitalised with Pangai Junior scoring his second to give the Raiders 48-4 lead.
Brett Soloman added himself to the growing list of try scorers for the game crossing under the post in the 60th minute with Croker making the most of the positioning to give the Raiders a 50 point lead.
The Green Machine continued to completely dominate the opposition with Jack Hickson scoring and Croker continuing his good kick for the game to give the Raiders a 60-4 lead.
The Dragons then got a chance to try and add some respectability scoring through Izaac Thompson and successfully converting to reduce the Green Machine’s lead to 50 points with 11 minutes to go.
That was where the scoring ended with the Canberra Raiders running out to a dominating win with a 60-10 victory in a game where they never gave the Dragons an opportunity into the game.
Man of the Match: Tevita Pengai Junior