The Raiders U20’s have made it five wins in a row with a massive 48-10 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium this morning.
Brett White made several late changes to the team, with Zac Masters and William Samuel both dropping out of the team, replaced by Jarred Tuite and Kye Madden.
Needing a win to make sure they kept their spot in the top eight, the Raiders made a poor start to the match. Early errors gifted the Rabbitohs favourable field position, which they were unable to capitalise on.
Instead, it was Jack Murchie playing at the unfamiliar position of centre who seized upon the opportunity when it presented. A Souths pass that went astray was picked up by a charging Murchie. With the Souths defence racing down on him he passed outside to Jack Hickson who was able to cross untouched. Zac Woolford's conversion faded to the left, keeping the Raiders lead to 4-0.
A sharp pass out of dummyhalf by Woolford to a rampaging Jarred Tuite saw the Raiders grab their second four-pointer midway through the first half. Attack was clicking for the Raiders, and defence was just as good, with Souths held up numerous times on the last tackle just shy of the try line.
Souths grabbed a late try in the half when Kalana Ili finally found a crack in the Raiders defence. Five-eighth Chad O’Donnell converted the try to cut the Raiders lead to 16-6. The Raiders hit straight back with only minutes left in the half. A slick backline play saw Jack Hickson left unmarked on the wing to cross for his second of the match. Woolford converted from the sideline to give the Raiders a 22-6 lead at the break.
It was the Rabbitohs who came out firing after the break. Repeat sets on the Raiders line paved the way for Haimona Hiroti to score to the left of the posts. The conversion attempt by O’Donnell slid away to the right.
Any thoughts of a comeback by Souths was soon quashed by Harry Van Dartel, who latched onto a superb ball to fly over in the corner for a try.
The floodgates well and truly opened in the final 15 minutes, with the Raiders adding four late tries for a valuable percentage booster. Jack Hickson grabbed his hat-trick, while Logan Spaander, Bailey Hartwig and Zeik Foster all crossed as well.
Next up for the Raiders is a Saturday afternoon clash against the Sharks at Southern Cross Stadium. The Sharks sit just one place higher than the eighth placed Raiders on the ladder.
Canberra Raiders 48 (Hickson 3, Tuite, Cronan, Van Dartel, Spaander, Hartwig, Foster. Woolford 6/9) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 (Ili, Hiroti . O'Donnell 1/2)