The Canberra Raiders defeated the Western Suburbs Magpies 32-18 to mark the club’s first appearance in the NSW Cup since 2007.
The Western Suburbs Magpies opened the scoring in the first two minutes with front-rower Edenn Rogers-Smith crashing over adjacent to the uprights. Jock Madden successfully converted to give the Magpies an early 6-0 lead.
The Canberra Raiders bounced-back with a great back-line play putting centre Harley Smith-Shields over in the corner. The Magpies took the lead 6-4 over Raiders in the opening ten minutes.
The Raiders continued their momentum with an incredible effort from new recruit Albert Hopoate who crossed the line for a try in the corner. The try was converted by halfback Sam Williams, giving the Raiders a 10-6 lead.
Western Suburbs hooker Jake Simpkin caught the Raiders defence off-guard who dummied and scored under the posts with ten minutes remaining in the first half. This gave the Magpies a 12-10 lead heading into half-time.
The Raiders opened the scoring in the second half through some amazing play from hooker Tom Starling who broke the Magpies defence to put teammate Caleb Aekins in for a try. Brad Schneider converted to give the Raiders a 16-12 lead.
Raiders five-eighth Matt Frawley set-up winger Semi Valemei with a great mid-field chip kick. Valemei went up above the defence and came down to score a great individual try in the corner.
The try extends the Raiders margin by eight to lead 20-12 over the Magpies in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half.
Canberra try-scorer Harley Smith-Shields was placed on report in the 58th minute for a lifting tackle.
Magpie’s front-rower Alex Seyfarth was also placed on report in the 63rd minute for a defensive infringement.
Raiders five-eighth Matt Frawley fooled the defence with a dummy to break the line for an untouched try under the posts. Schneider converted to extend the lead to 26-12.
Alex Seyfarth was again placed on report in the 70th minute, this time for a crusher tackle.
Albert Hopoate crossed for his second try of the afternoon from a great cut-out pass from teammate Brad Schneider. The try gave the Raiders a comfortable 32-12 lead with under ten minutes remaining.
Magpies front rower Alex Seyfarth scored a late try in the final minutes of play. The try was converted by Zach Dockar-Clay on full-time with the Raiders securing a 32-18 victory.