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Raiders go down to Cowboys at home

The Toyota Forklifts Canberra Raiders have suffered defeat against the North Queensland Cowboys 34-16 at GIO Stadium on Friday evening. 

A blistering first half by the visitors established a 22-0 lead at the break and despite the Raiders best efforts in the second half the deficit was too big of a mountain to climb. 

In a frantic opening 10 minutes both sides crossed the line, however it was North Queensland who opened the scoring after Rapana bobbled a loose ball on the tryline which Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt swooped on to score.

An error compounded with a high tackle penalty from Joseph Tapaine provided the Cowboys with an attacking set on the Raiders defensive line, which Tom Dearden took full advantage of combining with Heilum Luki who scored his second of the season. 

The Raiders errors continued to place the green machine under pressure defensively with Chad Townsand combining with his backrower Jeramiah Nanai off a well weighted grubber kick extending the visitors lead to 18-0. 

A dominant first half from North Queensland was capped off after Scott Drinkwater speared a 15 metre cut out ball for Feldt who finished spectacularly in the corner to claim his second of the evening.

Canberra had limited opportunities in the first half with a competition rate of 72% and 40% possession, with the majority of the half spent working the ball out of their own end, with a strong start to the second half needed. 

Raiders experienced the better of the field position in the opening exchanges of the second stanza, however staunch Cowboys defence and clunky Raiders attack prevented the home side from their first of the evening. 

Townsend's right boot assisted his second of the evening after a penalty from Hudson Young provided the Cowboys possession on the Raiders line with Holmes collecting the halfback's kick, converting his own try to extend the lead to 28 points. 

An error in the following set from the Cowboys allowed the Raiders to peg one back as Rapana tucked the ball under his arm and carried a North Queensland defender over the line for the home side's first of the night.

After defending consecutive sets of six on their line, a late offload was accepted by Blues hooker Reece Robson who darted into the backfield and narrowly got the ball down after the Raiders defence scrambled hard. 

The Raiders continued to show fight in the final 15 minutes with a short side raid converted by a flying Xavier Savage, before Elliott Whitehead cut hard against the grain to beat two defenders on his way to the tryline, reducing the final deficit to 18 points. 

The Canberra Raiders will look to get back into the winner's circle next week when they travel to Campbelltown Sports Stadium next Sunday afternoon to face the Wests Tigers.

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.