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Canberra Raiders 27 def. Manly Sea Eagles 14
A perfect kicking display from fullback Clinton Shifcofske has steered the Canberra Raiders to a 27-14 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles tonight.
The Raiders captain kicked five goals from as many attempts as the Raiders ran in four tries to three in front of a large Brookvale Oval crowd.
Playing with three debutants in an under-strengthed outfit, the Raiders came out firing with a try to centre Phil Graham after just four minutes. Shifcofske converted from the sideline and then extended the Raiders lead with a penalty goal four minutes later.
The Sea Eagles hit back in the 31st minute when newcomer Steve Bell scored. But five minutes later, Canberra found some space down the left side, winger Adam Mogg picking up the dregs to score out wide.
Manly had the final say on the first half when Brett Stewart scored after some clever work from halfback Matt Orford.
At half time, the Raiders were in front 14-8.
The second half saw Shifcofske denied a four-pointer in the 47th minute when referee Shayne Hayne went to the video ref who ruled obstruction against the Raiders. Manly also came close with Stewart chasing a kick through which beat him to the dead ball line in the 48th minute.
Manly had numerous opportunities but the Raiders eventually won the second half, scoring two tries to one. Todd Carney (55th minute) ran onto a Adrian Purtell break before Manly's Steve Bell got his double when he scored in the 58th minute.
Canberra hooker Simon Woolford crossed for a decisive four-pointer in the 70th minute, Shifcofske's successful conversion making it 26-14.
A field goal from Carney in the 73rd minute gave Canberra a 13-point buffer and put the match beyond doubt.
The win may have have come at a cost for the Raiders with forward Josh Miller being placed in a leg brace after he was forced off early with a knee injury.
Manly Sea Eagles: 14
Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve Bell(2)
Goals: Matt Orford 1/3
Canberra Raiders: 27
Tries: Todd Carney, Phillip Graham, Adam Mogg, Simon Woolford
Goals: Clinton Shifcofske 5/5
Field Goals: Todd Carney
Referee: Shayne Hayne
First half underway to a packed house in Brookvale
4 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Graham opens the scoring for the Raiders after a backline movement sees him score in the corner.
8 min: PENALTY GOAL Canberra Raiders
Schifcofske puts Raiders further in front. Kick right in front.
31 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Bell on debut for Manly gets the home side on the board. Conversion attempt unsuccessful from Orford.
36 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Mogg scores out wide and Raiders go further ahead just before the break. Another wide conversion from Schifcofske.
39 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Stewart scores for Manly just before half time. Follows great kick ahead from Orford. But also follows controversial ruling from referee Shayne Hayne who deemed a pass from Raiders to be forward. Orford's conversion attempt unsuccessful.
Half time: Raiders 14-8.
Raiders could be further ahead if not for a few handling errors. Not much in it but Manly with all the work to with ball security being an issue.
Second half underway...
50 min: NEWS Still 14-8 in favour of Canberra in the second half.
55 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Carney crosses to give the Raiders a 12 point break.
59 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Bell gets a double. Orford gets his first conversion of the night. Manly back in the match.
70 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Woolford scores. Raiders again 12 in front with 10 minutes to go.
73 min: FIELD GOAL Canberra Raiders
Carney pots a 1 pointer to put the match beyond doubt.
Full time: Raiders 27-14
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Clinton Shifcofske (Raiders)
2 - Jason Smith (Raiders)
1 - Lincoln Withers (Raiders)