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NRL Match Report: Raiders too good for Dragons in Wollongong

A fiery second half from the Raiders claims a 37-8 thrashing over the Dragons at WIN Stadium.

It seemed to be anyone's game in the opening half, with the Raiders only leading 14-8 at the break.

It was almost fairy tale debut for the young Dragons winger Cody Ramsey. His first touch of the ball in the NRL saw him driving over the try line to claim the first points of the match.

The Raiders were quick to bite back, cracking the Dragons defence under the goal post just moments later. A pass back on the inside from George Williams sent Hudson Young packing, to even the score. A successful conversion from Jarrod Croker gave the Raiders a 4-6 lead.

The Dragons began to build some momentum down the left edge when Nick Cotric produced an intercept, shifting the momentum of the game once again.

A lethal bounce on a kick from Williams left the Dragons scrambled before Jordan Rapana swooped in and snatched up the ball. An offload to Tom Starling and then to Joseph Tapine before finding the hands of Jack Wighton who powered through what was left of the Dragons defence to bag his ninth try of the season.

A floater pass from Matt Dufty out to Ramsey caught Semi Valemei off guard, to see the young winger snatch up his second try for the night. An unsuccessful conversion from Zac Lomax settled the score at 18-8 at halftime in favour of the Raiders.

The Dragons looked strong in the opening minutes of the second half. Josh Kerr found the try line within minutes but a strong defensive effort from Dunamis Lui held the ball up. The Raiders then finally kicked into the gear and stole the show.

It was a sneaky grubber kick from Elliott Whitehead that sent Croker cruising over the try line for the first points of the second half. Croker went on to convert his own try 24-8 lead.

Then, Hudson Young managed to shoot through the Dragons defence before gifting a perfectly timed pass to John Bateman who crossed the white line and gave Raiders a healthy 14-point lead.

Next to find the try line was Wighton, scoring his second of the afternoon. He was making it look all too easy for the Raiders.

A few swift passes through the hands and out to the left edge, left the Dragons startled, Semi Valemei saw an opportunity and burst over the try line.

It was George Williams who put the final nail in the coffin with an unexpected field goal, to give the Raiders a 37-8 win.

It was a strong performance from the Green Machine ahead of their crack at Finals footy in the coming week. They face the Warriors next week at GIO Stadium as they look to sneak into the top four.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.