The Canberra Raiders have got back into the winner’s circle with a 30-16 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles at 4 Pines Park on Thursday night.
The Raiders dominated territory and possession for most of the match thanks to an excellent kicking game from Canberra’s halves. Sam Williams, Matt Frawley and Josh Hodgson combined to force eight line dropouts from the Sea Eagles.
The Sea Eagles were first to strike when Dylan Walker scored off a scrum play in the seventh minute. However, Reuben Garrick missed the conversion out to the left, leaving the score at 4-0.
In a blow for the Raiders, Dunamis Lui left the field with a calf strain after just 10 minutes.
Manly looked to have scored their second try when Brad Parker went over in the left corner, but Xavier Savage’s last-ditch defence caused Parker to knock-on as he attempted to ground the ball.
The Raiders started to gain some on-field ascendency as the half wore on. Strong runs by Joseph Tapine and Hudson Young got the Raiders prime field position, and Sam Williams was able to force multiple line drop-outs with his boot.
The pressure paid off in the 28th minute when Tom Starling exploded out of dummy half to score. Starling capitalised off a quick play-the-ball 20 meters out from Manly’s line, allowing him to use his speed to cut through the Sea Eagles’ defence.
After three straight line drop-outs thanks to the boot of Matt Frawley, Sam Williams went over to score in the 35th minute with a dummy and run from just outside Manly’s goal line. Jarrod Croker converted to give the Raiders a 12-4 lead.
Williams scored his second try of the night in the 51st minute with another show and go from just outside the uprights.
Sebastian Kris scored an opportunistic try in the 56th minute when Sam Williams’ kick bounced off Moses Suli’s head. The ball rolled into the in-goal, and Kris dived on it. Croker slotted his fourth conversion of the night to give the Raiders a 24-4 lead.
Haumole Olakau’atu struck back for the Sea Eagles in the 64th minute with a strong run on the right-hand side. Garrick converted to take the Raiders’ lead down to 14 points.
Moses Suli scored next for the Sea Eagles, and Garrick converted to take the score to 24-16 in favour of the Raiders.
Emre Guler scored in the 74th minute with a bullocking run close to the line to end any hope of a Manly comeback.
Canberra Raiders 30 (Tries: T Starling, S Williams 2, S Kris, E Guler; Goals: J Croker 4) d Manly Sea Eagles 16 (Tries: D Walker, H Olakau’atu, M Suli; Goals: R Garrick 2)