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Canberra have produced an excellent second half to record a memorable 30 points to 26 victory to keep their faint finals hopes alive.
The first half was a precession of points with the opening points going to the Green Machine through Joel Monaghan. Penrith would hit back with their talasmen Luke Lewis setting up Kevin Kingston for the try. Undisciplined play from Penrith invited Canberra to go ahead again and they did, with League Unlimited Man of the Match Josh Dugan slamming the ball down.
Penrith would get on a roll for the rest of the half, with Frank Pritchard steamrolling his way to the line to level it up again. Sam McKendry got a rare four pointer when Canberra were lazy on last and let Graham put in a short kick for Gordon to offload to McKendry who wrestled his way to score.
Brad Tighe would get a meat pie in his 100th game when a short side movement from Jennings put him into space, it was deemed a "possible" eight point try because Vidot led with the feet. Gordon missed the first kick but got the second from in front to make it a 26-12 scoreline at halftime. Vidot will have some worries in the coming week after being put on report for his indiscretion.
The second half was a green tidal wave, when Josh McCrone was taken "late" according to the referee. Canberra rolled down the field and scored through the winger Vidot to kickstart their comeback. Penrith's discipline let them down again when they held a Canberra player down too long for the referee's liking. Josh McCrone would combine with Adam Mogg to send Bronson Harrison over for the try which got them within two after Croker kicked his fourth goal for the night.
Pressure would toll on the Panthers after defending their line valiantly for several sets of six, Terry Campese combined with Danny Galea who offloaded back to the star five-eighth to put Canberra ahead. Alan Tongue giftwrapped an opportunity for Penrith to steal it on the bell but Canberra defended well and secured an important 30-26 victory to remain in touch with the top eight.
Canberra Raiders 30 defeated Penrith Panthers 26
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 22 - Monday August 9, 2010 7:00pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Phil Haines
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Rick McFarlane and David Abood
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 12 Penrith Panthers 26
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Josh Dugan (1 Try)
2 Points - Jarrod Croker (5 Conversions)
1 Point - Josh McCrone
Canberra Raiders (30)
Tries: Joel Monaghan, Terry Campese, Josh Dugan, Daniel Vidot, Bronson Harrison
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (5/5)
Penrith Panthers (26)
Tries: Brad Tighe, Frank Pritchard, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston
Conversions: Michael Gordon (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Michael Gordon (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a very cold Canberra Stadium for an interesting match up between Canberra and Penrith. Penrith will looking to close the gap on the Dragons after their 19 points to 12 victory over the Roosters, while Canberra will be looking to get one step closer to the top eight.
There are some big changes for Penrith tonight, Lachlan Coote who is up there in the leading tryscorer is out with Michael Gordon shifting to fullback and Sandor Earl coming onto the wing. Luke Walsh is also out, replaced by Wade Graham who recently signed with the Sharks for next year. For Canberra, one change Joe Picker is out and is replaced by Danny Galea.
Canberra have won a points bonanza in the Toyota Cup 44 points to 34.
Canberra Raiders 44 (Williams 2, Loxley 3, Low 2, Hodge tries. Medcalf 6/8 goals) def. Penrith Panthers 34 (Watene-Zelezniak 2, Fraser, Goldsmith 2, Pelasio tries. Moylan 5/7 goals)
Both Canberra and Penrith are on the field, ready for action. Canberra won the toss and will kick off from left to right.
1 min: Campese gets boot to ball and here we go!
3 min: Some injury worries for Canberra early on, with Josh Miller assisted from the field after a very good tackle from Graham. David Shillington is also in some trouble.
3 min: Penrith try to force the issue and drop the ball on halfway.
4 min: Some sloppy work from Canberra here, with Josh Dugan dropping the ball on an early shift.
5 min: Luke Lewis drifts across the field but the ball floats forward and is called.
6 min: A laughable forward pass from Harrison just throwing it to McCrone even though he was in no position to recieve the ball.
10 min: TRY
A nice early ball from Dugan gets Croker outside Earl allowing him to break away, offload to Dugan who gives it to big red Joel Monaghan to post first points. Croker puts it through the posts without any fanfare.
Canberra Raiders 6-0
13 min: Flash Gordon saves the day off a hard bomb to take and they get a leg up with a follow-up penalty.
15 min: Penrith have gone back to their well worn tactic of the bomb but they mis-read the kick, with it bouncing into Campese's hands but he is forced in-goal. Repeat set Penrith.
17 min: TRY
Some slick footwork from Luke Lewis to go against the grain, finding a hole and handing it off to his hooker Kingston to dive over under the sticks. Gordon pilots it through without any trouble.
19 min: The faithful in Canberra are baying for a penalty and get their wish after Vidot is hit marginally high.
22 min: TRY
An un-necessary penalty brings a try for the Raiders with Josh Dugan stepping his way through some flimsy defence and slams the ball down. Croker slots the easy conversion to take the maximum points for Canberra.
Canberra Raiders 12-6
23 min: Wow, a penalty in possession against Canberra when Joel Monaghan gets up and gives the referee a spray.
Frank the tank could have a try but checking if he got it down.
25 min: TRY
Luke Lewis again is allowed to drift across until he found his runner in Pritchard who steamed his way to the tryline to plant it down. Gordon makes it a perfect night for the kickers thus far.
Sam McKendry might have a rare try but checking the grounding.
29 min: TRY
Lazy defence on last from Canberra, firstly allowing the short kick from Graham, offloading to Gordon who weaves closer to the line and giving it to McKendry who wrestles out of a valiant Campese tackle to score. In front, Gordon converts.
Penrith Panthers 18-12
31 min: Penrith are cutting Canberra with Jennings slicing through the line with only some last ditch defense from Dugan stopping it but he can't prevent a six again call.
32 min: Josh Dugan take a bow, he has stopped several tries with his defence but can Canberra hold on for last tackle? Yes they can, bad kick from the halves to end a very good set.
33 min: Canberra try a runaround play but it's too slow with McCrone fumbling it slightly, giving up posession.
Checking for a possible eight point try, as Vidot lashes out with a boot.
35 min: TRY
Nice work down the short side from Penrith finds Tighe who bumps off Dugan to score and after a chat to Vidot/Campese it will be a possible eight point try. Gordon misses his first kick from the sideline.
Penrith Panthers 22-12
36 min: PENALTY GOAL
Gordon gets the second kick from right in front.
Penrith Panthers 24-12
37 min: In the absence of Coote, Gordon has been in everything, stealing another bomb from Dugan but the bounce doesn't favour McKendry who spills the pill.
39 min: A possible, which is a popular word tonight injury concern with Michael Jennings but Canberra are their own worst enemy conceding a penalty and back-chating the referee. Penrith opt for the penalty goal.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
Michael Gordon ends the half with a penalty goal, extending the lead to fourteen points at oranges.
Penrith Panthers 26-12
41 min: Penrith gets the second half underway.
44 min: TRY
Off a controversial penalty against Penrith for taking McCrone late and they make them pay with a nice backline movement to Vidot to score. Croker kicks it from the sideline to make the bridge eight.
Penrith Panthers 26-18
46 min: Josh Dugan gives Vidot a nice pass off the kick return but he is looking at the defence and drops the ball, Furner just facepalms in the coaches box.
47 min: Canberra can breathe again when Waterhouse drops the ball off heavy contact from Josh Digan of all people.
48 min: Canberra are rolling down the field and get a repeat set when Earl drops a sitter but he'll breathe a sigh of relief when Croker drops an easy catch.
51 min: The Canberra fans erupt when their team gets a penalty for hanging on too long.
53 min: TRY
Josh McCrone takes it down the open side offloading to Mogg who sucks in several defenders and giving it to Harrison who slams the ball down with some authority while the Raiders chant goes up in the crowd. Croker gets it from the touchline to make it only two the difference.
Penrith Panthers 26-24
54 min: Canberra making breaks at will at the moment, with Campese almost going through trying to offload for Dugan but it's touched by Penrith who will survive for now.
55 min: Michael Jennings coughs up the ball easily, inviting Canberra to attack some more.
57 min: Canberra will pile on the pressure with a repeat set after Jennings is trapped in goal.
57 min: Josh Dugan almost bursts through off an inside ball but is taken by Gordon and drops it. He blows up but has no one to blame but himself.
61 min: Daniel Vidot leaps high for the ball and gets a contentious penalty for being taken out in the air, Gordon is hard done by there.
63 min: Canberra are unorganised on last but get a result, with Gordon being trapped in-goal.
64 min: Campese controlling the game for Canberra putting in a smart grubber for Dugan but Burns gets there first and takes it dead. Penrith will have to defend another set.
67 min: TRY
Penrith have finally cracked. Learoyd Lars draws in six or seven Canberra defenders. The quick play the ball out to Galea who goes close but offloads to Campese who puts Canberra ahead. Croker just squeezes it between the uprights to make it six.
Canberra Raiders 30-26
72 min: Penrith get a fortunate not played at call and get a changeover ten short of the halfway marker.
75 min: Penrith are caught on the last tackle, when they are rushed to kick and Purtell is wrapped up, unable to offload.
76 min: Alan Tongue has gift-wrapped an opportunity for Penrith but can they deliver?
77 min: Luke Lewis on the last tackle gives it to the guy in the stands, saving Tongue's blushes for the Raiders.
79 min: Wade Graham puts the ball high on last, Lewis charges through and takes it but he's held up by Dugan with help from some other defenders. Lewis is too overeager and concedes a penalty which wraps the game up for Canberra.
80 min: Canberra get another penalty for hands in the ruck, with Danny Galea taking the final hit up of the game.