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Raiders show character to win in Brisbane

The Canberra Raiders have snapped a five-match losing run by overcoming plenty of adversity to defeat the Bulldogs 20-18 at Suncorp Stadium.

With a send-off of Josh Papalii with just 20 minutes to go, overlapping with Jack Wighton in the sin bin, the Raiders were able to stay on top and secure their first win in six weeks.

The Bulldogs were looking dangerous early after getting the first back-to-back sets on their attacking line, but it was the effort of a one-on-one ball strip from Dunamis Lui which saved the Raiders.

In the 13th minute George Williams stepped off his right foot to get through a hole on the right edge. Williams created space for Caleb Aekins in the middle who found Corey Harawira-Naera on his inside to dive over for the opening try. Raiders opened the lead 6-0.

Kick pressure from the Raiders forced a knock on by the Bulldogs and the men and green were on the charge to the line but were unable to score.

Bulldogs hooker Sione Katoa broke through the Raiders defence in the 20th minute, he managed to kick a banana grubber to his right-edge, but the cover of Bailey Simonsson was too good, and he was able to gather the ball.

A kick by Elliott Whitehead down the Raiders left edge forced a goal line drop out in the 36th minute, which lead to a high contact penalty where the Raiders chose to take the two-point penalty goal from almost in front to extend their lead 8-0.

The Raiders looked to score again when Semi Valemei regained the ball in the air from a high short-side kick from George Williams, but Bulldogs fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was able to stop Valemei in a great try-saving tackle.

The Raiders led 8-0 at half time in what was an arm wrestle of play between the two sides.

In the 49th minute, the Bulldogs centre Will Hopoate made a break on the right edge, but Bailey Simonsson was able to save a try just metres from the line.

 

But former Raider Nick Cotric used his strength from dummy half to reach out and get the Bulldogs first points of the afternoon, closing the gap 8-6.

Attempting to get forward Adam Elliot to the ground, Jack Wighton dove at his legs in a dangerous way, getting himself sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

Attacking against 12 men Bulldogs half Brandon Wakeham used his chance to find a hole for centre Nick Meaney to give the Bulldogs a 12-8 lead.

The Bulldogs almost found the line again after a kick from Nick Meaney deflected off the posts, but the Raiders scramble in defence was enough to keep them out.

With 20 minutes to go Josh Papalii made an tackle on Tuipulotu Katoa which made contact to the head, as a result he was sent off the field for the remainder of the game.

The Raiders were able to come back with just 12 men on the field they found a gap on the right edge where Curtis Scott charged through diving over in the corner. A perfect conversion from George Williams on the sideline sent the Raiders in front 14-12.

Full of momentum, Raiders fullback Caleb Aekins found a hole for Seb Kris who ran straight into the goal area for another try. Raiders led 20-12 with eight minutes to go.

With just 31 seconds to go, Bulldogs fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was able to slide over the line for one more try. With a quick conversion the Raiders led by just two points 20-18.

A knock on by the Bulldogs in the first set off the kick off ended the game, giving the Raiders their first win in six weeks.

Canberra Raiders 14 (Tries: Corey Harawira-Naera, Curtis Scott, Goals: George Williams 3) d Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 (Tries: Nick Cotric, Nick Meaney, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Goals: Jake Averillo 3)