Raiders savour the taste of victory

Match Summary The Canberra Raiders have triumphed in their first home game of the 2008 season with a 21-14 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.

The Dragons started the match with a hiss and a roar, opening up a 10-0 lead within the first 12 minutes thanks to an early try to winger Jason Nightingale and a couple of Mark Gasnier penalty goals. Despite losing Phil Graham to a knee injury midway through the first half, the Raiders were able to work their way back into the match and narrowed the gap with a try to prop Troy Thompson in the 28th minute.

Jason Nightingale scored a second try for the visitors shortly afterwards, but the Raiders managed to hit straight back in the shadows of halftime thanks to Terry Campese. A 14-12 halftime score in favour of the Dragons was a fair reflection of the contest although both teams were struggling to maintain consistent pressure on their opposition.

After a slow first ten minutes of the second half the Raiders burst into action with a 40/20 from Todd Carney setting up the field position for a try to Joel Monaghan, and Monaghan followed up with a second try just a few minutes later. The Dragons struggled to match the lift in intensity from the home team, and aside from a near miss in the 64th minute they never threatened to add to their halftime score. Carney added the finishing touch with a last-minute field goal to seal the victory.

While the Raiders will be happy with the victory, they