Canberra have put on a first half clinic to ensure a strong 32-18 victory over the Gold Coast Titans in front of 11,170 fans at GIO Stadium this afternoon.
The hosts shot out of the blocks, taking advantage of a poor start by the Titans. Ash Taylor's kick out on the full at the end of the first set gave the Raiders easy territory, and late in the set Iosia Soliola strolled over untouched after just three minutes of play.
Canberra surged further ahead when Joe Tapine burst through off a Blake Austin short ball after fourteen minutes, and backed it up a couple of minutes later when Jarrod Croker crossed. Down 16-0, the Titans didn't look like they had many answers, and this was exacerbated when Jai Arrow went off with some head & neck issues - the big lock eventually sent to hospital.
The Raiders didn't let up - Nick Cotric took advantage of the numbers on the left side, scoring in the corner for a 20-0 lead, which the Green Machine took all the way to the halftime break.
The opening ten minutes after halftime were all the Titans - the Robina-based club scored twice after the resumption to make a contest of it, a clever short kicking game delivering four-pointers for Ryan James and Kevin Proctor.
It would be Canberra who got over next though, scoring two of their own in the 54th and 59th minute to ensure victory. First Shannon Boyd muscled his way over from close-range before Jordan Rapana dotted down in the corner off a classy Joey Leilua flick-pass.
Ahead 32-12, the Raiders wound the match up with no real urgency heading to fulltime, failing to take any further advantage of an injury-ravaged Gold Coast side who finished the match with just one man on the interchange.
Max King scored late for the Titans on his 21st birthday, tightening the margin to just fourteen points ahead of the fulltime siren.
Canberra will stay at their Bruce headquarters next Sunday when they host Cronulla as part of the NRL's Indigenous Round, while the Gold Coast are back in Queensland, as the away side against Melbourne in the first game of next round's Suncorp Stadium double header.