The Raiders U20's side have gone down 42-20 in a battling performance against the Gold Coast Titans in Holden Cup action this afternoon from GIO Stadium.
Despite having several good chances to score, and set after set inside the Titans 20 in the second half, the Raiders just couldn’t convert their possession into points.
Canberra started well, holding the balance of field position in the opening ten minutes, but it was the Titans who took an early 6-0 lead through front rower Nathan Watts.
It didn’t take the Green Machine too long to respond though, as repeat sets off the back of several penalties deep in Titans territory led to Stanley Takulua crashing over, and the Raiders almost took the lead minutes later, only for Chevi Ellis to be held up in goal.
After very few scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes, the game exploded into life, and it was the home side who got on the board next through a Titans error. Winger Tyronne Roberts-Davis couldn’t handle a Raiders bomb, with the Raiders able to gather the loose ball before Kalani Going scored in the corner.
This would be the last time the Raiders would hold the lead, and it wouldn’t last long, with the Titans back in front after a slick 50 metre passing move saw Morgan Boyle break through the Raiders defensive line before popping a pass to Brayden McGrady to score under the posts.
The visitors were able to lay on another try straight from the restart, with centre Greg Leleisiuao grabbing the first of his two tries, barging over for an 18-8 lead carrying two Raiders’ defenders on his back.
But Canberra were able to close the gap to four points on the stroke of halftime as five eighth Lachlan Lewis sliced through, and they almost retook the lead on the first possession of the second half, coming within a whisker of scoring the try of the season.
A ball through the backline saw Jack Hickson burst down the sideline, before popping a grubber inside for Tre Williams, whose winding run saw the ball spun out to the far side of the field, only for Nick Cotric’s final pass to be just out of Harry Van Dartel’s reach. The missed chance would hurt even more a minute later, as the Titans went straight up the other end of the field to score through hooker Jordan Scott.
Down 24-14, the Raiders again came close, as Lewis grubbered for himself, regathered, but was brought down millimetres short of the line. Canberra didn’t have to wait long to get their next try thought, as a good run from Zac Woolford set up halfback Zeik Foster to score right next to the goalposts.
The Titans nearly had another try straight away as Josh Fauid sliced through inside the Raiders 10, but it was waived away due to an obstruction penalty. It would be the Titans who would score next, as a good offload from Jerome Veve saw Ethan Roberts able to force his way over after some weak defence from the Raiders at the goal line.
Some late frustration saw the Raiders Daniel Dole put on report for a late hit on Fauid, with Kelepi Faukafa scoring for the Titans a minute later. There was still time for Gold Coast to tack on one more try in the final two minutes, as Leleisiuao grabbed his second, breaking two tackles before outrunning the rest of the Raiders defence to score.