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Match Report: Raiders downed by Sea Eagles in Mudgee

The Canberra Raiders have suffered a disappointing loss against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, going down 25-6 in Mudgee on Saturday night.

After a strong first half, the Raiders struggled to keep up with the Sea Eagles as Manly ran in 15-unanswered-points to win on a chilly night at Glen Willow Oval.

Despite the loss, Jack Wighton was a shining light for the green machine with one try, 103 running metres and four tackle breaks.

The start of match saw both teams going end to end looking strong in attack. But in the 12th minute Manly rookie Tolutau Koula broke through a low tackle from Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and passed it to winger Rueben Garrick for the game's first four pointer.

Only six minutes later, Jason Saab was able to offload after catching a crossfield kick which led to Manly’s second try through Morgan Harper in the right-hand corner. This time Garrick couldn’t convert the try, keeping the score at 10-0.

Hudson Young was placed on report for a dangerous tackle on Josh Aloiai in the 20th minute. Young had control of Aloiai’s legs but after Josh Papalii lost control in the top half of the tackle, Aloiai’s head was put in a dangerous position. 

After putting up a towering a bomb which was knocked on by Tom Trbojevic, Jack Wighton capitalised on the field position which he had created with the Raiders opening try of match in the 25th minute. The crafty five-eighth sold the Sea-Eagles’ defence with a fake pass, opening a gap for him to go straight through.

The score stayed at 10-6 going into halftime with both teams struggling to have any real chances at adding to their totals before the break.

Following a scoreless first 20 minutes of the second half, Manly finally broke through the wall of the Raiders defence with Haumole Olakau’atu jumping on a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber into the in-goal. Garrick’s successful conversion extended the Sea Eagles lead back to ten points.

A perfectly placed 40/20 kick from Cherry-Evans not long after, setup Manly’s second try of the half with the 2021 Dally M medalist, Tom Trbojevic, finding a way to score in the left-hand corner. 

It seemed as though the Raiders couldn’t catch a break as an attempted short dropout failed to go the required ten metres in the 67th minute. The Sea Eagles opted to go for the penalty goal from it and opened their lead to 18-points.

With four minutes remaining, Manly found themselves only ten metres out from the Raiders line and got the ball to their star halfback Cherry-Evans to slot his 25th career field goal.

Canberra will be looking to bounce back from this defeat with a win against the Melbourne Storm next week when they face off at McDonalds Park in Wagga Wagga.

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.