The Canberra Raiders have suffered a disappointing loss against Parramatta Eels, going down 28-20 at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In an extremely tight contest, the Raiders fought all the way to the final siren but were edged out by a try to Dylan Brown in the 65th minute.
In chilly conditions, the start to the game saw both sides struggle to control any early momentum. It wasn’t until the eighth minute that a kick across to the left hand side from Raiders debutant Jamal Fogarty gave Canberra their first points of the afternoon.
Jack Wighton’s contest for the ball forced a mistake from Eels fullback Clint Gutherson and Sebastian Kris was able to ground the ball before it went dead, giving the Raiders a 6-0 lead after the conversion.
Only three minutes later the Eels answered back with a try of their own through Will Penisini, who was able to gather a loose ball and score under the posts. Mitchell Moses converted to level things at 6-all.
Shortly after, a dummy from Dylan Brown opened up a hole for him to run through and score Parramatta’s second consecutive try. Controversially, the Bunker deemed that a possible obstruction on Raiders forward Joe Tapine could’ve been avoided and stayed with the on-field decision of try.
Moses had no issue with the conversion, taking Parramatta out to a 12-6 lead.
Raiders skipper Elliott Whitehead came up with a piece of brilliance in the 20th minute, with the edge forward scouting into dummy-half, collecting the ball and diving over to score. Following Fogarty’s conversion the game was all locked up at 12-all.
Another line break from the Eels provided them with dangerous field position and after a crafty spread to the right hand side, they found their third try of the half through former Raider Bailey Simonsson in the 27th minute. Moses was unsuccessful with the conversion keeping the Eels ahead by four-points.
But in the 35th minute, a bomb from Wighton caused another mistake from Gutherson and Sebastian Kris was there once again to ground the football. Fogarty converted from the left hand side, putting the Raiders up by a slight two-point margin which they took into the halftime.
A line break from Ryan Sutton in Canberra’s opening set of the second half resulted in a penalty with Reed Mahoney impeding the play after failing to get back onside. The Raiders opted for the penalty goal, taking their lead out to four-points.
The game seemed to be played on Canberra’s terms for the first ten minutes of the half but another line break from the Eels led to Simonsson acrobatically diving for the corner and scoring his second try of the game.
Moses put it right over the black dot with the conversion from the sideline, taking the Eels out to a 22-20 lead in the 55th minute.
Confusion on the behalf of Hudson Young who picked up a loose ball still thinking it was last tackle turned into a turnover for the Raiders and Parramatta went 90 metres to score through Dylan Brown once again in the 65th minute. Moses’s conversion was pinpoint taking the Eels out to a 28-20 lead.
A late hit in the 74th minute on Xavier Savage ended his night early with the electric fullback taken off by the trainers.
Unfortunately for the green machine, they couldn’t find a way to get across the line even though they had plenty of close calls. The score remained at 28-20 for the final minutes of the game, giving the Eels the victory on the road.
Canberra will look to bounce back from their performance against Parramatta with a win when they face the Roosters back at GIO Stadium next Sunday afternoon.