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Raiders fall to narrow defeat in wet and windy Wollongong

The Raiders have fallen to a narrow 12-10 defeat against the St George Dragons at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

In extremely difficult conditions it was a scrappy match in Wollongong, with the Raiders going close to securing a victory late, only to be held out by a determined Dragons outfit.

Xavier Savage starred in the defeat, with the fullback scoring a magnificent individual try, whilst the likes of Adam Elliott, Corey Horsburgh and Joe Tapine continued their rich vein of form.

With a lack of field position and the wind at their faces, the Raiders did well to hold out the home side early, defending desperately to keep the scores locked at nil-all through the opening 15 minutes.

Four penalties in Canberra’s defensive half continued to make life difficult for the Green Machine, before an unfortunate error from a line-drop out finally saw the Dragons score the opening try of the afternoon.

After Jack Wighton attempted to bat back a short drop-out it fell perfectly into Talatau Amone’s arms, with the referee deeming that the ball had crossed the 10-metre line, allowing play to continue.

The five-eighth was able to score untouched, handing the Dragons a 4-0 lead in the 17th minute after Zac Lomax couldn’t add the extra points.

Another attempted short drop-out was this time deemed to have not made the required distance, resulting in Lomax getting another attempt to extend the lead off a penalty goal.

He made no mistake this time, pushing the Dragon’s lead out to 6-0 in the 25th minute.

After a brilliant defensive set the Raiders were quick to hit back, courtesy of a moment of magic from Xavier Savage.

After collecting the ball 15 metres out through the hands of Jack Wighton, the fullback showed his acceleration and tackle breaking ability. He was able to breeze past the Dragon’s right edge defence to score the Raiders first try in the 29th minute.

Jamal Fogarty was unsuccessful with a difficult conversion attempt, leaving the score at 6-4 in favour of the Dragons.

An unfortunate error from Nick Cotric attempting to collect a Ben Hunt bomb gave the Dragons a full set just 10 metres out as the home side looked to extend their lead whilst they still had the wind advantage.

It only took them three plays to break the line, courtesy of a strong run from Moses Suli. The centre was able to isolate Savage on the goal line, breaking past him to score the Dragons second in the 38th minute.

Lomax was able to add the extra two points with the conversion attempt, giving the Dragons a 12-4 lead as both teams went to the sheds with it all to play for.

Following a Wighton error directly from kick off, the Dragons thought that they had gotten off to the perfect start, with only a last-ditch effort from Savage denying Andrew McCullough and St George.

Instead, it was the Raiders who were able to get back into the match by scoring next, with Hudson Young getting his first of the day.

The second rower ran the perfect line and was rewarded with a short pass out of dummy half from Tom Starling, crossing comfortably to score under the posts in the 53rd minute.

Fogarty was able to convert easily from directly in front, taking the score to 12-10 in favour of the Dragons.

The wet and windy conditions would play havoc on both teams handling of the football, with neither side taking advantage of seesawing possession.

This led to the proceeding 20 minutes having no clear-cut chances, with both teams most successful passages being due to monster efforts from the respective forward packs.

An error from Cody Ramsey just metres from the Raiders try line gave the Green Machine one last chance to get the victory with a minute remaining, only for the Dragons defence to unfortunately hold strong to record a 12-10 victory.

The Raiders will now have next weekend off with the bye, before looking to continue their mission up the competition ladder against Melbourne in round 18 on Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park.


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.