The Canberra Raiders displayed one of their best performances this season as they secured a nail bitting 12-10 win over the Paramatta Eels on Thursday night at Cbus Super Stadium.
Jordan Rapana saved the Raiders at the last minute to secure two points under their belt in one of the best performances by the Raiders this season.
Keeping the score to nil-all in the first half, it was a fierce battle between the two sides as their defensive efforts continued to keep each other out from scoring.
All around the park the men in green showed pure determination with every player taking tough carries through the middle and performing impressive contact in defence.
It was efforts from the Raiders back line off the kick returns that gave the Raiders some front foot ball, but the Eels were still able to keep them out.
The Raiders lost Josh Papalii in the first half after suffering a HIA, but they continued to work through the middle with Josh Hodgson shifting out of the dummy-half role.
As the game progressed, so did the physical battle and it seemed to be anyone’s game as they reached half time holding each other scoreless.
Just three minutes into the second half, Jordan Rapana broke through the line, carrying the ball down field giving the Raiders an opportunity to attack.
Quick thinking by Hudson Young saw him grubber in goal to give the Raiders a goal line dropout which then set them up for the opening points of the match.
It was Corey Harawira-Naera who ran through a hole in the Eels defence from a ball off Sam Williams to secure the first points of the match in the 44th minute giving the Raiders a 6-0 lead.
A successful captains challenge for a ball strip by the Raiders in the 52nd minute giving them plenty of momentum in attack.
Sebastian kris broke through the line, and Jordan Rapana took the chance to scoot from dummy-half, diving between defenders to get the Raiders another four points, Jarrod Croker converted his second goal of the night to make it 12-0.
But in the 56th minute, the Eels hit back with a run from Blake Ferguson down the sideline and a kick for his teammate Dylan Brown to put the ball down in goal closed the gap to 12-6 in favour of the Raiders.
The Eels look to be dangerous in attack, but the Raiders defence was too strong, keeping the blue and gold out on multiple occasions.
Once again, the Raiders defence was on fire, forcing an error from the Eels with just eight minutes of play remaining, the Eels used their captains challenge, but it was unsuccessful giving the Raiders another chance to attack the line.
With just five minutes remaining the Eels scored by just an inch on the left wing with Maika Sivo, a great attempt by Harley Smith-Shields just fell short as the try was awarded through the bunker.
Missing the conversion, the Raiders remained in front by just two points, with just three minutes remaining.
With five seconds to go, Jordan Rapana made an incredible try saving effort, throwing his body into Maika Sivo which sent him into touch to secure the win for his team.