Raiders dominate Tigers in dead rubber

With neither side able to make the finals, the Raiders came out victorious over the Wests Tigers 27-12 at GIO Stadium tonight in front of a paltry 8,000 fans.

It was a game with little use but to blood debutants and try new structures, as well as some face-saving for both squads and their coaches. For host coach Ricky Stuart, he was gunning for his first back-to-back wins as a coach in five years, while Mick Potter went into the clash hoping his side would arrest the avalanche of points posted against them in the previous three weeks.

The Tigers spilled it first up from the kickoff and the Raiders took full advantage, Bill Tupou scoring off the Raiders first set. Canberra went on to double that advantage through Jack Wighton in the 34th minute. Stuart's men went in 12-0 up at halftime, keeping the Tigers scoreless in the first half for the umpteenth time this season.

It took until the 55th minute for the Tigers to cross, five-eighth Blake Austin stepping through some feeble defence. Inexplicably the Raiders attempted a penalty goal following this, despite the chance to extend their lead being presented. It backfired immediately with the visitors forcing an error from the kickoff and going on to reduce the gap to two with a bullocking try to Martin Taupau

Sadly for the Tigers the story of their season continued - Aaron Woods spilling the pill and inviting the Raiders back in, Josh Papalii crossing this time.

Anthony Milford potted a field goal later in the game to seal the result before scoring himself in the final minute to put the result beyond any sort of doubt and ensure the Tigers dropped to 13th in light of Newcastle's big win over Parramatta earlier today.

Both teams have one more assignment for the 2014 season, with the Tigers headed home to Leichhardt Oval where they'll face wooden spooners Cronulla-Sutherland. For the Raiders it's one last home game where they'll face Stuart's former club Parramatta, who'll need a big win over the hosts next Saturday to have any hope of snaring an unlikely finals berth.


Match Details
Canberra Raiders 27 Wests Tigers 12
Venue: GIO Stadium
Crowd: 8287
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 12 Wests Tigers 0

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Anthony Milford
2 points - Mitch Cornish
1 point - Blake Austin

CANBERRA RAIDERS (27)
Tries: Bill Tupou, Jack Wighton, Josh Papalii, Anthony Milford
Field Goals: Anthony Milford (1/1)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1)

WESTS TIGERS (12)
Tries: Blake Austin, Martin Taupau
Conversions: Pat Richards (2/2)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS | Two simple in-and-outs for the Tigers. Cory Paterson (centre) and Jack Buchanan (bench) are both OUT, replaced by Asipeli Fine and Brendan Santi respectively. Both are debutants.

TEAM NEWS | No changes for the Canberra Raiders, they are 1-17. Kickoff looming at 5:30pm.

Holden Cup went the way of Canberra 28-24 over the Tigers. Feeder sides for Canberra (Mounties def Cronulla 38-24) and Wests Tigers (lost to Wyong 26-16) both played VB NSW Cup today. The Raiders' QLD Cup feeder club in Souths Logan play tomorrow against the Sunshine Coast.

Welcome to GIO Stadium where it's a huge g...
OK just kidding. This will be a tough slog for those who are keen to see some finals quality footy, but both teams will likely give it a red-hot go to show off skills for next season. Mitchell Moses and Mitch Cornish have both been handed their first shot at starting halfback which will be an interesting battle in itself. A win for Canberra guarantees they avoid the wooden spoon completely while the Tigers will want to jump back ahead of Newcastle who bumped them down to 13th earlier today. Late jersey change - Brenden Santi is actually in #25 not #26.

We're underway here, the Tigers have it first.

1: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Adam Blair makes an unforced error.

Ugh. Horrific start. Blair loses it in the play-the-ball. Canberra scrum 5m inside the Tigers' half.

2: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Bill Tupou. Kick to come.

One set, one try. Tigers caught out on their left side defence. Lee finds Tupou after fielding a Cornish cross-field kick.

3: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

Goal 300 for Jarrod Croker. Superb strike from out wide.

6: Chris Lawrence tries sprinting down the touchline but one of his feet has hit the chalk. Raiders scrum on their own 30m.

7: Raiders penalty with Farah getting too friendly in the ruck. Set starts 25m out for the home side.

10: Another penalty for the hosts coming out of their own end. Starting now with the ball 5 inside the Tigers' half.

11: Milford chips for the corner but the bounce eludes Tupou and it races touch-ingoal.

12: Penalty Tigers for a change coming off the back of the 20m restart. Now they start a set 40m from the Canberra line.

14: Raiders defend well, work it out from their own end.

17: Raiders grubber through, it's watched dead by Hitchcox but Croker ALMOST got through to claim a try. 20m restart Tigers.

23: Edrick Lee offloads for Glen Buttriss... forward. Buttriss was over, too.

24: 40/20 WESTS TIGERS
Robbie Farah kicks a 40/20.

Robbie nails a 40/20. Reasonable time passes, tap and go from 10m out for the visitors!

24: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Asipeli Fine makes an unforced error.

Fine fumbles a pass from Farah that went a bit too far behind him. Knock on ruled. Canberra scrum.

30: Neither team getting passes to stick at the moment, all coming apart on the final play.

33: VIDEO REFEREE possible Raiders TRY to Jack Wighton. We're checking obstruction.

34: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Jack Wighton. Kick to come.

Wighton's try is fine, green lights given. Just a poor read from shoddy Tigers' defence.

35: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

This makes it 301 for Croker. Good start for the Raiders.

35: We're checking the kickoff... originally ruled a dropout for Canberra, now a penalty to them. It went dead on the full, landing right on the line.

36: Hawkins taken into touch, taking a poor pass on the touchline and he's tackled. Tigers' scrum.

38: Raiders penalty as we approach the break. The hosts could nearly put the game away with another try here...

39: And another penalty inside the final minute, 5m out now for the hosts.

40: Pat Richards picks up a loose ball, he runs 60m but is surrounded by 8 Raiders chasers. Tigers roll the dice on the break... but Raiders clean it up. Halftime - Raiders 12-0.

40: Raiders first ball this half and Jack Wighton makes a break... Raiders attacking already!

47: Nothing happening for either team, the Tigers are throwing it at the Raiders but the final touch just isn't there. Good defence from the home side though.

49: There are 8,287 here to watch this cellar-dwelling battle today. The Raiders have just handed possession over a few metres inside their own half.

50: Raiders trapped in goal. Tigers force a drop out.

52: Akauola goes for the corner but is pushed into touch.

55: Some enterprising Raiders' play comes apart with a poor pass. Tigers scrum on their own 10m... and a penalty on the first tackle.

55: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Blake Austin. Kick to come.

The Tigers break the duck. Austin with a great dummy, runs, scores!

57: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

From out wide, that's a pearler of a conversion from Patty Richards.

58: Akauola again tries tripping the light fantastic down his touchline but he's taken into touch.

61: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL CANBERRA RAIDERS
Penalty goal attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

Are the Raiders sensing danger? Penalty goal attempt to put them 8 ahead is successful from Croker - should they have gone for more?

62: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Anthony Milford makes an unforced error.

Milford oh dear, he spills the kickoff and puts the Tigers straight on the attack...

62: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Martin Taupau. Kick to come.

Taupau reaches out and BAM, just like that the margin narrows!

63: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Margin now down to just two. The momentum shifts again...

64: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Aaron Woods makes an unforced error.

Big Woodsy can't control the ball and he's spilled it coming out of his own end. Canberra scrum 15m out!

66: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Josh Papalii. Kick to come.

Milford lays one on for Papalii and it looks like defence has now become optional...

68: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

And converted. Croker's fourth today.

68: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Edrick Lee makes an unforced error.

Oh dear... another kickoff error, this time Lee can't handle the swirling breeze behind the ball.

69: Luckily for Canberra, the Tigers spill that one and it's back in their hands as they work it off their own line.

71: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Curtis Sironen makes an unforced error.

Sironen spills it attempting to play the ball. Canberra scrum 5m inside the Tigers' half.

76: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Blake Austin makes an unforced error.

Austin bumps and ducks and spins and... loses it over the tryline.

78: Both teams bunched and not offering a whole lot of attacking depth as the game winds down. Tigers need a miracle from here.

79: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL CANBERRA RAIDERS
Field goal attempt by Anthony Milford successful.

That is the ball game. Milford pots the easiest field goal you'll ever see from about 20m out.

80: That'll do us, Raiders have one more attacking raid then the Tigers add 40m to a 20m restart with a kick for touch. They run the clock down for the last 15 seconds.

80: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Anthony Milford. Kick to come.

Milford turns it on late with another try for the Raiders.

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

And that's the game! Ricky Stuart's first back-to-back wins in years!

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