The Canberra Raiders have overcome three sin bins to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 30-10 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Raiders have now claimned back to back wins for the first time this season in one of the clubs best wins in recent memory. The green machine ran out to a 20 point lead at halftime and were able to defend their way to victory in the second half.
Zac Woolford was great on debut for the Raiders with two try assists and 16 tackles with no misses. Sebastian Kris was also great in his first start in the centres this season with some bruising defence, a line break and a try.
It wasn't the best start for the Raiders as the Sharks were able to retrieve their own kick off giving them an early set on the Raiders goal line. Nicho Hynes was able to force a goal line dropout but the Raiders defence was too good for the Sharks attack.
It was then the Raiders who scored the first try of the match in the sixth minute, Sebastian Kris leaped over Sione Katoa to score thanks to a great kick from Matt Frawley. Brad Schneider converted the try to give the Raiders an early 6-0 lead.
Off the back of a penalty the Sharks had more great attacking field position but the Raiders defence continued to be too strong.
The Raiders forced an error from the Sharks fullback after a great kick and chase. This gave the Raiders an attacking set which led to their second try of the match through Josh Papalii in the 21st minute. Schneider converted from in front, giving the Raiders a 12 point lead.
The Raiders extended their lead to 14 points through a penalty goal from Brad Schneider who kicked his 16th consecutive successful conversion.
A great hit by Kris forced another error from the Sharks, Cotric picked up the loose ball and found Corey Harawira-Naera who crossed over for the Raiders third try in the 27th minute.
Momentum was all with the green machine until the Sharks made a linebreak which led to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad getting sent to the sin bin in the 35th minute for a professional foul.
The Sharks failed to capitalise with a one man advantage as the Raiders defence was great yet again. The green machine were able to defend back to back sets and force another error from the Sharks with 12 men.
The Raiders crossed over again in the 39th minute but the bunker overruled the decision after a Rapana was offside.
The Sharks threw everything at the Raiders on the stroke of halftime but the green machine was able to hold them out with the one man disadvantage. The Raiders went into halftime leading 20-0.
Both sides opened the second half with great intent but it was the Sharks once again who had great field position, unfortunately the Raiders suffered their second sin bin of the match after Corey Horsburgh tackled a support player without the ball in the 49th minute.
The Raiders defence looked unbreakable despite being once again down to 12 men. Xavier Savage who took a great catch to defuse a potential try from Hynes’s kick.
Off the back of more penalties it was the Sharks who crossed over for the first try of the second half after a great backline play put Sione Katoa in the right corner. Hynes was unsuccessful to convert bringing the Shark’s deficit to 16 points with 24 minutes remaining.
Off the following kick off the Sharks lost their captain Dale Finucane to a concussion due to a high tackle, Elliot Whitehead was the third Raiders player to be sin binned leaving the Sharks with a 13-11 advantage.
After more try line defence, the Raiders made a break down the right sideline through Sebastian Kris but couldn't capitalise despite some great field position.
Corey Hoorsburgh returned to the field in the 59th minute meaning it was now only a one man disadvantage for the Raiders.
Wade Graham forced an error from the Raiders on their goal line and Hynes was able to force another goal line dropout. The Sharks took advantage of their extra numbers as Royce Hunt powered through to score in the 67th minute. Hynes converted as the Raiders led 20-10 with 13 minutes remaining.
Elliot Whitehead returned to the field after the conversion.
Momentum finally turned for the Raiders who forced another Sharks error thanks to some more bruising defence. A great grubber kick from Schneider forced a goal line dropout which gave the Raiders more field position.
Zac Woolford continued to star on debut, taking a scoot out of dummy half to assist Brad Schneider who crossed over in the 75th minute to put the Raiders up by 16 points.
Hudson Young intercepted an inside pass to score the final match of the game in the 79th minute, Schneider’s conversion was unsuccessful as the Raiders won the match 30-10.
It was an incredible performance from the Raiders who will be hoping to make it three wins in a row when they take on the Rabbitohs next Sunday in Dubbo.