NRL Match Report: Raiders hammer toothless Tigers
The Canberra Raiders have recorded their first win of the season after they ran rampant over the Wests Tigers, finding their trademark attacking flair to run home winners 46-6.
With the return of captain Jarrod Croker and the much-anticipated debut of mountain man Dave Taylor, the Raiders were looking for a comprehensive victory after the disappointment of last week.
It took 20 minutes for the Raiders to find their first points of the match after an error-riddled opening quarter. But once they found their rhythm, the Raiders started to find the form that took them to the Preliminary finals last year.
The Tigers started on the back foot after Chris Lawrence dropped the ball off the kick off, but recovered well to spend most of the opening 10 minutes in the Raiders half.
Off the back of 3 repeat sets on the raiders line, the Tigers finally found a break through after Joey Leilua threw an intercept straight into the hands of David Nofoaluma who ran 50 metres untouched to score.
With the ball in their hands and some time to recover from a big defensive effort, the Raiders started to test the Tigers defence.
After moving the ball from both sides of the field, and attempting the aerial route to get the ball over the line. It was a cleaver Elliott Whitehead flick pass down the right edge, which lead to the first points of the match for the Raiders.
Jordan Rapana was the man to capitalise off the flick pass and fly past the corner post for a skilful one handed put down. Jarrod Croker then picked up where he left off last year and slotted the slide line conversion to tie the game 6-6.
Soon after the match fell back into an arm wrestle, as both teams looked to take an advantage into half time.
But it was the Raiders who would go into the sheds with the lead after scoring three tries in the final 10 minutes to go into the break boasting an 18-6 lead.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Raiders kept the momentum going in the second half, only taking seven minutes for them to find the line.
The try came through Raiders young gun Nick Cotric, who scored his debut NRL try after the Raiders pounced on a loose ball for Cotric to slide over in the corner and give the Raiders an 18-point lead.
With all the momentum and confidence in the world, the Raiders began to run riot over the Tigers, finding gaps down both sides of the field but also being able to split them down the middle as Jordan Rapana showed in the 58th minute.
Rapana’s speed and footwork was too much for the tired Tigers defence as he split them right down the middle and put Jack Wighton over untouched to lay claim to a 30-6 lead after Croker’s successful conversion.
Following tries in the 62nd, 66th, and 80th minute to the raiders, the match was well a truly wrapped up as the slow walk out of the stadium from Tigers fans would suggest.
The siren sounded as Jarrod Croker guided the ball over the black dot from the sideline to wrap up the match and not only give the Raiders a commanding 46-6 victory but also their first win of the 2017 season.
The Raiders will be looking to go back-to-back next week as they take on the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
Raiders 46 (Jordan Rapana 2, Josh Papalii, Blake Austin, Nick Cotric, Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker, Elliott Whitehead tries; Jarrod Croker 7 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 6 (David Nofoaluma try; Mitchell Moses 1 goal). Half-Time: Raiders 18-6. Crowd: 14,628.
POST MATCH COVERAGE