Match Report: Raiders run rampant over Titans
The Raiders have won three straight games after defeating the Gold Coast Titans 56-16 in a dominating performance in front of 8,116 spectators at GIO Stadium.
Captain Jarrod Croker and Blake Austin played starring roles and both scored two tries each in what was the Green Machine's first home win of the year.
The Raiders opened the scoring in the 6th minute through Austin after a Gold Coast knock on gave the Raiders a repeat set 20 metres out. From here, Austin danced his way through the defence beating two tackles from the Titans to score. Croker stepped up to take the conversion and was successful for a 6-0 lead.
The response from the Titans was swift with winger Anthony Don crossing in the 10th minute. The ball was spread to the wing in a string of passes and a precision kick from Aidan Sezer found Don in space to score in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful from Sezer leaving the score line at 6-4 in favour of the Raiders.
The Raiders were able to extend their lead to eight points when Paul Vaughan found his way across the line despite the attempts being made by Titans fullback Josh Hoffman. The conversion was successful from Croker to make it 12-4.
The scoreboard pressure continued to be piled on by the Raiders who scored again in the 26th minute through Croker after a great run from Mark Nicholls who passed the ball back inside for Croker to score under the post. Croker went on to convert his own try for an 18-4 lead.
It became 3 unanswered tries for the Raiders after some great offloading skills opened up space. Jordan Rapana made a 30 metre run after receiving a Josh Papalii offload that put him in the open to score next to the upright. Croker continued his 100 per cent conversion record for the match to open up a 20 point lead for the Raiders.
The Titans were able to reduce the deficit right on half time after some quick passes led to Don was once again finding himself in the open. Sezer successfully converted the try to go in at the break with the Raiders leading 24-10.
The Titans were able to reduce the lead further after pilling on pressure on the Raiders defence. Don crossed for his hat trick after the Titans took advantage of the space out wide. Sezer kicked the extra two to reduce the lead to eight points.
The Raiders restored their 14 point advantage in the 51st minute with a second try to Austin. After throwing a dummy that put the Titans defence on the wrong foot Austin stepped around three defenders to score next to the post. Croker kicked the conversion to make it a 30-16 lead to the Raiders.
It was back to back tries for the Raiders after Croker crossed for his second of the game. Croker was able to score in the corner despite having three Titans defenders trying to hold him up. Croker however missed his conversion attempt to leave the score line at 24-16.
Another try in quick succession from the Raiders saw them really start to show some score line dominance. Sam Williams put a kick up towards the corner that Jordan Rapana rose up to and knocked back. The ball fell into the hands of Papalii who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed by Croker which left the Raiders with a 22 point lead.
It was four answered tries for the Raiders after Sia Soliola scored. Croker provided the assist playing a short pass from dummy half that found Soliola who made a short run at the line to score. Croker converted to make it 44-16 with 10 minutes left in the game.
The Raiders continued to pile on the points by scoring what was easily the try of the day. Edrick Lee ran 90 metres after intercepting a pass and scored despite a last ditch effort from the Titans defence to try and stop him. The conversion was successful from Croker to push the score to 50-16.
The try streak was sent out to six unanswered by the Raiders in the 75th minute. Williams was able to score after making a short dart from dummy half following a line break by Kurt Baptiste who was pulled down just short. Croker continued his great goal kicking performance to push the lead to 40 points.
The score line finished 56-16 to wrap up the biggest win for the Raiders this year with Soliola rounding out a great performance by picking up man of the match.
Canberra Raiders 56 (Austin 2, Croker 2, Vaughan, Rapana, Papalii, Soliola, Lee, Williams Tries; Croker 8/10 Goals) def. Gold Coast Titans 16 (Don 3 Tries; Sezer 2/3 Goals)