Match Report: Williams leads inexperienced Raiders to victory

A captain’s performance from Sam Williams has led an inexperienced Canberra Raiders side to a 22-20 win over the Parramatta Eels at St Mary’s League Stadium on Friday night.

The Raiders started the trial match brightly in the opening exchanges as back to back penalties gave the Green Machine good field position.

However, the Raiders weren’t able to capitalise as Parramatta delivered the first blow through right winger Ethan Parry.

The two sides were evenly matched on the scoreboard after 20 minutes as a short break was taken due to the game being played in quarters.

Parramatta didn’t take long to score in the second quarter as Mitch Moses stepped his way through the middle before kicking to Parry who scored his second of the evening.

Moses turned provider moments later when his banana kick was fumbled by Bailey Simonsson and regathered by the Eels playmaker. Moses then flicked the ball to Jaeman Salmon who scored.

The Eels continued their try scoring ways as Clint Gutherson put in a grubber and Michael Jennings was the fastest person to the ball.

Tom Starling provided some spark for the Raiders from dummy half as he caught the defence napping on back of a good Luke Bateman run.

Sam Williams, captaining the side for the night, made no mistake from the tee as Parramatta took a 20-6 lead into the halftime break.

The Raiders started the second half well and continued their momentum as new recruit JJ Collins scored a try on his birthday.

The Raiders finished the quarter strongly as the Green Machine’s forward pack started making easy meters and quick play the balls.

Momentum stayed with the Raiders and Sam Williams scored near the posts as the Eels were fooled by a dummy pass with two minutes to go to narrow the margin.

Williams then turned provider as he gathered a loose ball before passing to young winger Andre Niko who ran 70 meters to score. The halfback then slotted the conversion five meters in from the sideline to win the game at the death.

Canberra Raiders 22 (Tries: T Starling, J Collins, S Williams, A Niko; Goals: S Williams 2) d Parramatta Eels 20 (Tries: E Parry 2, J Salmon, M Jennings; Goals: M Moses 2)