The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Canberra have been given a raw deal by an oaf by the name of Paul Simpkins at WIN Stadium this afternoon.
The end result was a 21 all draw between Canberra and the Dragons in a round nine clash. Simpkins, who seems to love the limelight, made sure Saints had every possible opporutunity to win the game.
Saints second rower Brent Kite was held up over the try line with only seconds remaining and Simpkins, in all his wisdom, decided to blow time off so the scrum had time to pack and give the Dragons one last shot at victory. From the ensuing scrum, Canberra charged down an attmepted drop goal but were subsequently penalised for ebing offside from the scrum feed. The penalty was a differential and therefore, a shot for goal could not be taken. Saints took the ball back ten metres and slotted a field goal to give them a draw a one competition point, courtesy of Paul Simpkins.
Saints were also awarded a try off a blatant double movement by Shaun Timmins. His momentum had been halted, his arm carrying the ball had hit the ground, yet he reached out, placed the ball over the line and the video ref in all his wisdom, deemed this to be a fair try. A farcical decision.
St George also lost hooker Mark Riddell as he was sent off by Simpkins for a high shot on Raiders five eighth Mark Mclinden after he had kicked the ball. Riddell has been sent off in has last two NRL matches and faces another lengthy suspension for his actions.
Canberra led 21-8 at the break and should have won the game. Only inexperience and moronic refereeing decisions cost them a certain two points. Hopefully, the team can build on todays performance and use it as a cornerstone to a bigger and better season.
Best for the Raiders were Mark Mclinden, Michael Monaghan, Brett Finch and Jason Croker. Saints best was Shaun Timmins with NSW pivot Trent Barrett unable to find any kind of form leading up to State of Origin.
This will be a game best remembered for its controversial decisions rather than an enterprising performance by a gutsy Canberra Raiders side.
Scorers: St George Illawarra Dragons 21 (Tries: Timmins 2, Millard, Riddell. Goals: Riddell 2/3, J.Smith 0/1. Field Goal: Peters) draw with Canberra Raiders 21 (Tries: Lolesi 2, Jensen, Martin. Goals: Graham 2/4. Field Goal: Finch) Half time score: Dragons 8 - Raiders 21