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Raiders suffer defeat at GIO Stadium

The Canberra Raiders have gone down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-20 on Thursday night at GIO Stadium.

Canberra were unfortunate to lose star halfback George Williams to a leg injury in the warm-up, forcing Sia Soliola onto the interchange bench and Elliott Whitehead slotting into the halves.

A penalty for holding down led to the Rabbitohs electing to take a shot at goal in the early stages of the match. Adam Reynold made no mistake, slotting the penalty conversion to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

However, the Raiders fought back to score the first try of the night through Jordan Rapana who caught a beautiful cut-out from fullback Caleb Aekins. The Raiders took an early 4-2 lead in the opening 10 minutes.

Raider’s winger Bailey Simonsson was placed on-report for a lifting tackle on Cody Walker in the 13th minute.

South Sydney responded with a try of their own through winger Alex Johnston. Adam Reynolds converted to re-gain the lead 8-4.

The Raiders struck straight-back through fill-in halfback Elliott Whitehead who finished off a great team try. Rapana kicked his first NRL conversion to give Canberra a 10-8 lead.

Raiders centre Sebastian Kris finished off a try from a perfectly-weighted Jack Wighton grubber kick. Rapana successfully converted to extend the home team’s lead to 16-8.

The Rabbitohs hit back right before halftime when Campbell Graham ran through a hole and scored under the posts to close the gap to two points. The Raiders held onto a 16-14 lead at halftime.

South Sydney picked up where they left off, showcasing their lethal left-edge attack with centre Dane Gagai scoring the first try of the second half. Reynolds converted to give the visitors a 20-16 lead.

Alex Johnston scored his second try of the night in the left corner to extend the Rabbitohs lead by 10 with just over 20 minutes remaining. Souths led 26-16.

Rabbitohs backrower Jaydn Su’A supported a linebreak from Keaon Koloamatangi to further extend the visitors lead. Adam Reynolds continued his perfect conversion rate, handing Souths a 32-16 lead.

Raiders hit back at the right time, with centre Curtis Scott setting up his winger Jordan Rapana for his second try of the evening. The match becomes a two-score game with Souths holding onto a 32-20 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Rabbitohs forward Jacob Host was sin binned in the 73rd minute for holding a player down in a try-scoring opportunity.

Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton was denied two pivotal tries in the space of four minutes due to obstruction.

The Rabbitohs were awarded a penalty in the final minutes where they elected to take the shot at goal. Reynolds converted to come out victorious 34-20 over the Raiders.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 34 (Tries: Johnston 2, Graham, Gagai, Su’A; Goals: Reynolds 7) d Canberra Raiders 20 (Tries: Rapana 2, Whitehead, Kris; Goals: Rapana 2)

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.