Match Report: Raiders score record win
The Canberra Raiders have scored a club record win, with a comeback from 22-0 down to defeat the Wests Tigers 30-22 at Leichhardt Oval.
It was the largest ever comeback in the clubs history and came off the back of a controlled second half from the team and the performance of the forward pack led by Frank-Paul Nuuausala in what was his best game for the club.
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Some late changes for the Raiders included the inclusion of Kurt Baptiste who was dynamic off the bench for the Raiders, while a reshuffle saw Paul Vaughan play lock forward for the injured Shaun Fensom, giving Nuuausala a chance to start the match.
The Raiders scored 30 unanswered points to defeat the West Tigers and silence the crowd at Leichardt Oval in front of a crowd of 13,198.
In what was a very ill-disciplined start to the game the Raiders were made to pay by the Tigers for some mistakes, but they did manage to pull themselves back into the game late in the first half and carry across the momentum gained into the second half and get themselves across the line.'
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The game did not start the way that the Raiders would have wanted with the Tigers getting the scoring underway early. After a knock on in their first set of six the tigers were handed the ball 15 metres out. They spread the ball out wide to Tim Simona who managed to work his way back in front of the posts for an easy conversion for Pat Richards to give the Tigers an early 6 point lead.
The lead was doubled in the 7th minute with poor discipline letting the Raiders down. After giving away back to back penalties the Raiders gave great field position to the Tigers and they did not waste it with forward Keith Galloway finding his way to the line holding of the Raiders defence and Richards converted for a 12-0 lead.
The Tigers domination on the scoreboard continued as they crossed for their third unanswered try. They were able to find space after some quick passing between Robbie Farah and James Tedesco which saw the ball reach Luke Brooks who found the line to score. Richards maintained his 100% record to make the score 18-0.
The Raiders continued to be their own worst enemy and gave the Tigers another chance to score. A handling error 20 metres away from the Tigers try line resulted in a 40 metre run from Brooks. In the following set the ball found its way to Richards who was in open space on the wing and scored in the corner. Richards missed his first conversion of the day leaving the score 22-0.
The Raiders managed to finally score in the 28th minute. Shannon Boyd found his way to the line with 4 Tigers defenders trying to hold him up but they were unsuccessful. The conversion by Captain Jarrod Croker was successful to pull the deficit back to 16 points.
It was back-to-back tries for the Raiders after they found their way across the line in the 35th minute. Croker jumped higher than two Tigers defenders to successfully gather a chip kick from Blake Austin. Croker converted his own try to get the score back to 22-12 in the Tigers favour and that was where the scoring ended for the first half.
The second half started where the first half left off for the Raiders. Frank-Paul Nuuausala found his way to the line after being put through by a pass from Kurt Baptiste to score under the post and set up and easy conversion for Croker who successfully added the extra two to get the Raiders within 4.
The Raiders managed to hold out the Tigers and score a try of their own to bring the score back level. After Josh Hodgson charged down a tigers last tackle kick the ball found its way to Raiders Full-back Jack Wighton who scored in the corner. Croker unfortunately missed the conversion attempt to level the score at 22 points all.
Eager to make a up for his missed conversion Croker stepped up to take a penalty shot at goal from 42 metres out and successfully kicked it over to give the Green Machine a slender 2 point lead with 12 minutes to go.
The Raiders added to their lead with 2 minutes to go as Jordan Rapana crossed in the corner which gave Croker a tough conversion attempt but was successful on the siren to give the Raiders the memorable eight point win. The only downside was Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii were put on report.
Canberra Raiders 30 (Boyd, Croker, Nuuausala, Wighton, Rapana Tries; Croker 5/6 Conversions) defeated West Tigers 22 (Simona, Galloway, Brooks, Richards Tries; Richards 3/4 Conversions)