The Raiders have bounced back from last week’s defeat to beat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32-28 in a thrilling last minute victory at GIO Stadium.
In a game that started well for the Raiders with early attacking dominance allowing the side to grab an early 16-0 lead.
An ill-disciplined end to the game though almost cost the Raiders the win, however the Raiders were able to regain the lead, and ultimately secure the two points, when second-rower Jack Williams latched onto a towering bomb from five-eighth Lachlan Lewis.
After an error riddled start to the game from both sides the Raiders opened the scoring in the 9th minute after a great attacking run for Tevita Pangai Junior. The damaging prop made a strong 30 metre line break and passed the ball off to Dylan McGrath who scored next to the posts. The conversion was successful from Zac Woolford giving the Raiders an early 6-0 lead.
The Green Machine scored another try to double their lead in the very next set. Returning winger Lachlan Hurst made a strong break down the left wing and the Raiders made the most of the open space to the right of the field with Lewis delivering a classy long ball for Brenko Lee to score out wide. Woolford kicked the conversion for a 12 point lead.
The quick try scoring continued for Canberra with the young Raiders scoring a third try within 10 minutes. Hurst was able to score in his first game for the year with a great effort in the corner following a repeat set. The conversion was unsuccessful from Woolford to extend the score line out to 16-0.
The Bulldogs were finally able to get on the score sheet with a try in the 24th minute after Marcelo Montoya was able to score in the corner after the ball was spread wide. The conversion was unsuccessful from Brad Keighran leaving the Raiders with a 12 point lead.
The Dogs were able to score able to reduce the lead further after crossing again two minutes later. Bronson Garlick scored after some quick passing from the Bulldogs created space for him to cross next to the posts. The lead for the Raiders was reduced further with the successful conversion from Keighran.
The Raiders were able to score right on half-time to restore a 10 point lead after capitalising on Bulldog Guy Hamilton getting sin binned. The Raiders took full advantage of the one man overlap, spreading the ball out wide for Lee to cross for his second of the game. The conversion was unsuccessful from Jack Hickson leaving the score at 20-10 at the break.
The Bulldogs were able to score first in the second half after relentless pressure on the Raiders defence. Siaopo Tahaloa broke through after finding a gap in the Raiders defensive line. The conversion from Keighran was successful to reduce the Green Machine’s lead to four points.
The Raiders did not waste any time and quickly restored their 10 point advantage with quick ball movement from under the posts to the wing finding space for Williams to score his first for the match. The conversion by Morgan Boyle enabled a 26-16 lead with 30 minutes to go.
After another period of errors and penalties from the Raiders, the Bulldogs were able to score in the 64th minute. The Bulldogs had received great field position after the Raiders gave away multiple penalties and the Dogs took full advantage of this with Garlick able to score his second of the game. The conversion was successful from Keighran to reduce the Raiders lead to four.
It was tries in quick succession for the Bulldogs after the Raiders again gifted them field position though another penalty. Reubenn Rennie scored in the corner after the ball was spread into space on the wing and the conversion was successful for the Dogs meaning that they took a two point lead with just minutes remaining.
The Raiders refused to lie down and scored in the final couple of minutes to retake the lead with the last kick of the game. Lewis put a monstrous and well-placed kick into the air and Williams out-jumped the Bulldogs defence to score his second of the game, and the match winner. The conversion was successful from Woolford resulting in a 32-28 win for the Raiders.
Man of the Match: Luke Bateman
Canberra Raiders 32 (Williams 2, Lee 2, McGrath, Hurst Tries; Woolford 3/4, Hickson 0/1, Boyle 1/1 Goals) defeated Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 28 (Garlick 2, Montoya, Tahaloa Tries; Keighran 4/5 Goals)