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Aidan Sezer has capped a poor night with a match winning field goal to give Canberra a 21-20 win with just 16 seconds left in the game.
The match was played at a rapid rate from start to finish with plenty of open play. Canberra opened the scoring with a third minute penalty goal to Croker.
Canberra's ill-discipline gave Manly a mountain of possession, which was quickly capitalised on by Cherry-Evans, who stepped off his right foot and then strolled through the Raiders woeful edge defence to score an all-too-easy try. Hodkinson converted. Five minutes later, Hodkinson kicked a penalty goal.
Just on the twentieth minute, Tom Trbojevic drifted left before dishing a ball to Thompson who waltzed through a gap to score a very soft try. Hodkinson again converted.
Canberra hit back almost immediately as they sent the ball left. Wighton got outside his man and then threw a great ball to Cotric who dived over in the corner to score a great try. Croker was unable to convert from touch.
Just four minutes later, Canberra tried the same play again and managed to get the same result, as Cotric scored again in the left corner. Croker again missed the conversion from out wide.
Canberra turned over a lot of possession in the final ten minutes of the half, however they managed to score themselves another penalty goal right on halftime, to reduce the deficit to just 2 points at the break.
Croker and Hodkinson both kicked another penalty goal each in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Just on the hour, Hodkinson was sin binned for being offside, however this only served to improve Manly.
Kelly, after an average night early on, ran at a gap between Austin and Leilua. He stepped back in to evade Leilua and then slipped straight through to score a good solo try. Cherry-Evans failed to convert from touch.
Canberra turned the ball over time and time again in the final ten minutes, yet in a brief moment of good control, they scored a stunning try from nothing. Wighton passed to Cotric, who then chipped the ball back infield. Wighton followed through and caught the ball on the full to score, almost replicating the stunning Steve Gearin try in the 1980 Grand Final.
Croker converted from touch for the first time in the game to level the scores.
After Manly survived a scare in the final 2 minutes, where a Tom Trbojevic fumble near his tryline very nearly resulted in another Cotric try. Sezer missed a field goal shortly after when it was charged down. The Raiders retained possession and with just 16 seconds in the game, Sezer kicked a shaky field goal to get his team home.
Canberra Raiders 21 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20
Venue: GIO Stadium Canberra
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 12 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jack Wighton
2 points - Joel Thompson
1 points - Siliva Havili
CANBERRA RAIDERS (21)
Tries: Nick Cotric (2), Jack Wighton
Field Goals: Aidan Sezer (1/1)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/3)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (3/3)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (20)
Tries: Daly Cherry-Evans, Joel Thompson, Brian Kelly
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (0/1), Trent Hodkinson (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Trent Hodkinson (2/2)