NRL Match Report: Raiders win Golden Point thriller
The Raiders have pulled off a miraculous Golden Point win, to finish their season on a huge high and a 28-24 win over the Parramatta Eels in front of 10,515 at Pirtek Stadium.
The win was made even sweeter for Captain Jarrod Croker, as a two try performance allowed him to secure the top point scorer award for the NRL in 2015.
The finish to the game was frantic, with the Raiders scoring on the stroke of fulltime through Edrick Lee, with Croker nailing a sideline conversion to take it into extra point. From there the Raiders worked their way into some good field position, with Josh Hodgson sealing the win with a run from dummy half to score the match winner.
A sinbinning to Sisa Waqa inside the final ten minutes and a try and penalty goal to Parramatta looked to have secured the win for the Eels, but the never say die attitude of the Raiders allowed them to steal away a win in what was at times an error riddled performance.
The Raiders got the scoring underway early crossing in the 3rd minute through Brenko Lee, when he found a gap in the Eels defence and took a quick dart from dummy half to score. Jarrod Croker stepped up and converted for a 6-0 lead to the Raiders.
After back to back penalties gave the Raiders decent field position they elected to take the two however Croker was unsuccessful with the attempt.
The Raiders looked to have scored soon after, but the video referee said no try to Jarrod Croker, as he failed to ground the ball for the try.
The Eels got on the board after sustained pressure on the Raiders defence in the 36th minute, as Semi Radrada added to his try scoring tally for the season. Luke Kelly added the extras for a 6-6 scoreline.
Radrada’s second gave the Eels the lead for the first time in the match after some quick passing found the Fijian open to score in the corner. The conversion from Kelly was unsuccessful to leave the score at 10-6.
It was the turn of the Raiders to hit back scoring in the 55th minute after some good lead up play from Kurt Baptiste. The Raiders dummy half created an opportunity and Croker accepted to score the try. Croker converted his own try to give his team the two point lead and take the lead as the NRL top point scorer.
The Raiders and Croker were in again in the 60th minute. After a well weighted grubber from Sam Williams that got in behind the Eels defence allowed Croker to pounce and score his second of the game. Croker again converted his own try to extend their lead to 18-10.
Parramatta refused to be run over however getting a try back in the 69th minute. Junior Paulo crashed over next to the post after a short run despite the best effort of the three Raiders defenders that were trying to stop him. Kelly converted to reduce the gap to two points with 10 minutes remaining.
The Eels were then given an advantage when Sisa Waqa was sin binned for a professional foul at the ruck. The Eels took advantage of this immediately crossing through Daniel Alvaro in the 74th minute after being put through by Issac De Gois. Kelly was successful with the conversion to give the Eels a four point lead at 22-18.
The Eels were given the opportunity to move two points further in front after Tim Mannah was the recipient of a high tackle and Kelly stepped up to extend the lead to 24-18.
The Raiders however refused to give up, with the try to Lee setting up the thrilling finish to allow Hodgson to win the game for the Green Machine in Golden Point.
Canberra Raiders 28 (Croker 2, B.Lee, E.Lee, Hodgson Tries; Croker 4/5 Goals)
Parramatta Eels 24 (Radrada 2, Paulo, Alvaro Tries; Kelly 4/5 Goals)