A brilliant performance from dynamic duo Joey Leulia and Jordan Rapana has helped the Canberra Raiders to a 30-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300 Smiles Stadium on Saturday night.
The notorious ‘Leipana’ partnership both crossed for tries as the Green Machine were able to hold on to win their third game of the season, and their second away game up in Queensland.
A blistering start from the Raiders saw Rapana denied right before the line, only for Cotric to cross over on the opposite side for his first try of the season just three minutes in.
Jordon Rapana doubled the Raiders lead three minutes later, picking up a loose ball from a Sam Williams grubber and crossing for a try in his 100th NRL career game.
Jarrod Croker converted a penalty from ten metres out to put the Raiders up 10-0 with fifteen minutes remaining.
A dummy from Cowboys halfback Michael Morgan allowed him to get a pass off to Gavin Cooper to cross for the home team’s first points of the night with eight minutes remaining.
A cut-out pass from Nicoll-Klokstad reached Rapana, who then launched a well weighted kick in field for Joey Leilua to collect and score under the posts with five minutes remaining.
A late field goal attempt from Sam Williams drifted wide as the Raiders went into the sheds with a ten-point lead.
An early mistake from North Queensland in the second half allowed Jarrod Croker to convert his second penalty kick of the night and add two to the Raiders score.
A skilful run from Michael Morgan ten minutes later saw him cut through the Raiders line and lay it off for John Asiata to get the four pointer and pull them back into that match.
With twelve minutes remaining, a pass from Josh Hodgson went through Rapana’s legs and straight to a Cowboy’s player, however play was stopped for a double knock-on.
Three minutes later, another Cowboy’s mistake allowed for Jack Wighton to pick it up, before a quick one two with Croker and Cotric allowed the co-captain to score to increase the Raiders lead.
A late kick from Jake Clifford was charged down by forward Elliot Whitehead, leading to a full field counter attack, and two sets later Rapana crossed over to score for his second of the night and seal the Raiders third victory of the season.
Canberra Raiders 30 (Tries: 2 Rapana, Cotric, Leilua, Croker. Goals: Croker 5/7) def. North Queensland Cowboys 12 (Tries: Cooper, Asiata. Goals: Kahu 2/2)