The Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg side continue their charge to the finals in what was a fast-paced clash against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Seven try scorers for the Canberra Raiders helped spark a 48 – 12 crucial win with just one round remaining in the regular season.
An early error just six minutes into the game from the Manly Sea Eagles gave the Canberra Raiders a chance from just 10 metres out. It was through second-rower Kai O’Donnell who charged through the defence to put first points on the board for the Green Machine.
The Raiders had to fight to get back to their try line after a shift in momentum and back-to-back penalties helped the Sea Eagles gain some much needed metres.
Ultimately the Raiders were able to hold on with the help of a penalty getting them off their own goal line.
A strong attacking set from the Raiders helped Canberra winger Semi Valemei to find space through the middle to drive his way over the try line in the 13th minute.
Only minutes later Raiders forward Tom Robertson looked like no one would catch him making a break from 30 metres out before being tackled just 10 metres from the white line.
A quick play the ball and some fancy footwork from the Raiders fullback Harley Smith-Shields and the Green Machine were able to extend their lead to 16 points.
An aerial ball knocked on by the visitors gave the Canberra boys a golden opportunity just 10 metres short of their try line.
A pin point kick across field from Toby Westcott allowed Gideon Afemui to score a try for the Raiders just before half time.
The first half was all but over with the siren sounding but the Raiders were able to squeeze in one more four pointer before the break in outstanding fashion involving just about every Raider.
With Manly scrambling in defence unable to put a stop to the Raiders, eventually, Gideon Afemui was able to stretch out and plant the ball down for the second time today taking the Raiders to 26 – 0 for the halftime break.
The Green Machine started the second half full of energy ready to finish what they had started in the first half.
A try to hooker Kyle Patterson got the ball rolling for the home side in the third minute of the half with Toby Westcott claiming the extras.
Shortly after, a quick-thinking dive from the play the ball allowed hooker Jack Birt to put first points on the board for the Manly Sea Eagles.
Things started to heat up between the two sides with a scuffle ending in Gideon Afemui from the Raiders and Neihana Oldham from the Sea Eagles both being sent to the sin bin.
But it was the Raiders who were able to keep their cool and control the ball with centre Matthew Timoko scoring a try just moments later.
A later scrum from a Manly error led to more heartache for the visiting side. Unable to keep their cool, the two sides were involved in yet another scuffle which led to Manly’s Dane Oostendorp-Power being sent to the sin bin.
Before making it down the tunnel, he was ordered back by the referees for another talking to and was consequently sent off the rest of the game.
Down to just 11 players, the Manly Sea Eagles were stretched in defence and unable to stop Raiders winger Manase Kaho from crossing the line in the 57th minute of the game.
The Raiders looked unstoppable through fullback Harley Smith-Shields running the full length of the field before flicking the ball to Manase Kaho to score a double for the Green Machine taking their lead to 48 – 6.
Just over three minutes were remaining and the last try of the game was through Michael Pokia, diving over the try line in the corner awarding the Sea Eagles their second try of the day.
The Raiders finished a dominant performance 48 – 12 victors.
Canberra Raiders: 48 (Tries: O’Donnell, Valemei, Smith-Shields, Afemui 2, Paterson, Timoko, Kaho 2; Goals: Westcott 6/9) def.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles: 12 (Tries: Birt, Pokia; Goals: Podesta 2/2)