The Canberra Raiders have kept themselves in the race for the finals with a 36-24 victory over the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Canberra’s left edge attack was unstoppable with Nick Cotric, Sebastian Kris and Hudson Young registering tries in the 12-point win.
In perfect conditions on the Gold Coast, the Raiders took no time to hit the scoreboard with a play to the right out of a scrum ending with Matt Timoko going through untouched in the 5th minute.
Jamal Fogarty had no problem with the conversion attempt from 15 metres to the right and put Canberra out to an early six-point lead.
However a penalty from Fogarty in the 12th minute gave the Titans great field positioning to answer back and they did just that. A short grubber kick from Gold Coast playmaker Tanah Boyd found Brian Kelly streaming through to score.
Following the conversion, the game was locked up at 6-all with plenty of the first half to come.
The Raiders took back the lead in the 21st minute in stunning fashion with a flick pass from Hudson Young finding Nick Cotric who was able to pin the ball to his body, pirouet around a defender and score in the corner.
Fogarty slotted the difficult conversion from the left hand sideline giving Canberra a 12-6 lead.
Only six minutes later, Cotric crossed over again with the winger jumping into acting dummy half and finding a whole in the Titans goal line defence. However, it was a different story for Fogarty this time with his conversion attempt hitting the post and being waved away.
Flares tempered in the 33rd minute after Joe Tapine wasn’t pleased with a tackle from Gold Coast hooker Aaron Booth who he believed committed a dangerous tackle. Tapine was sin-binned by referee Ben Cummins for his reactions to the incident where he was shown throwing a punch.
The Titans controlled the possession following Tapine’s sin-binning and were able to break through on the final play of the half with Tanah Boyd finding space to score next to the posts.
Toby Sexton’s successful conversion brought the Raiders lead down to four-points heading into halftime with the score reading 16-12.
Both sides started the second half with some errors but it was Canberra who were able to capitalise first. A grubber through into the in-goal from Fogarty proved a nightmare for Sexton to handle who lost it and Hudson Young pounced to score the first points of the half.
The Raiders quickly added four more points to their tally with Young throwing another flick pass to find Sebastian Kris unmarked to score. Fogarty’s conversion missed to the left keeping Canberra ahead 26-12 with 27 minutes to go.
Jayden Campbell was able to holt the Raiders onslaught after finishing off a 50-metre break from teammate Beau Fermor. Sexton slotted the conversion from right in front to make it an eight-point game and keep his side’s hopes of a comeback alive.
But Tapine was able to get Canberra back to their 14-point lead after the conversion, with the forward forcing his way through four Titans defenders to get the ball across the line.
The Raiders continued to put the pressure on the Titans with repeat sets right on their line. Corey Harawira-Naera was held out but the Gold Coast couldn’t stop Sebastian Kris from registering his second try of the game.
Fogarty missed the conversion keeping the score at 36-18.
In the final minute of the game, Beau Fermor made a strong break and linked up with Campbell once again to score under the posts. But it was all too late with the Raiders in a commanding position up by 12-points.
Canberra will look to continue their strong run towards the finals in round 21 when they face the top of the table Panthers at GIO Stadium next Saturday.