The Canberra Raiders have suffered a 35-10 loss against the Parramatta Eels on Saturday night at GIO Stadium
The Raiders were only trailing by two points at halftime but were unable to slow down a rampaging Eels attack in the second half.
Canberra Raider #375, Caleb Aekins, was a strong performer in a beaten side. The Raiders will have to go back to the drawing board as they prepare for next week’s clash with the North Queensland Cowboys.
The Raiders got off to a rocky start after Jordan Rapana lost the ball over the one-meter line off the first kick of the game. The Eels were quick to capitalise - Isaiah Papali’i going over to score in the second minute.
Rapana was quick to atone for his previous error when he scored a spectacular try out wide in the seventh minute off a Jack Wighton cut out pass.
Maika Sivo then scored out wide for the Eels to make it 12-4. A strong run from Isaiah Papali’i gave Paramatta a quick play the ball inside the Raiders’ 20-meter line and the Eels exploited an overlap on the left side.
An offload from Josh Papalii at midfield saw Raiders’ debutante Caleb Aekins break the Eels line. In the next play, Josh Hodgson found space behind dummy half and put fellow Englishman, George Williams, over to score.
Caleb Aekins then showed his skill in defence when he stopped a rampaging Maika Sivo from getting his second try by holding the big Fijian up in goal.
The Raiders had a chance to take the lead late in the first half when George Willams put up a perfectly placed chip kick for Jack Wighton. Wighton managed to get his hands on the ball but was unable to ground it.
Isaiah Papali’i opened the scoring in the second half when he ran a great line off a Clint Gutherson pass and crashed through the Raiders’ defence.
An expansive bit of play from the Eels saw Shaun Lane cross the line in the 55th minute. Maika Sivo offloaded to Gutherson near halfway and the ball went through a number of hands before Mitchell Moses put Lane over the line with an inside pass.
While the Raiders tried valiantly to cross the Eels line during the second half - they just couldn’t break through.
Reed Mahoney then sealed victory for the Eels in the 71st minute when he pounced on a loose ball near the Raiders’ line and scored.
Mitchell Moses slotted a field goal in the dying minutes to take the score out to 29-10 before Clint Gutherson scored another late try for the Eels.
Parramatta Eels 35 (Tries: I Papali’i 2, M Sivo, S Lane, R Mahoney, C Gutherson; Goals: M Moses 4; Field Goals: M Moses 1) d Canberra Raiders 10 (Tries: J Rapana, G Williams; Goals: Croker 1 )