Tonga shows promise, whilst USA struggle against Raiders
Seffiet Oval was host to a Raiders try scoring feast, as the Capital based club held its first (and hopefully annual) international tri-series. The tournament, which saw the Canberra Raiders take on the USA Tomahawks and Mate Ma?a Tongan?s in four quarters of 20 minutes drew a crowd of just under 5,000 people on a very hot day down in the ACT.
The setup of the match saw Canberra play USA in the 1st and 3rd quarters, whilst they took on the far stronger Tongan side in the 2nd and 4th quarters.
In the clash against the USA, Canberra blitz through the Tomahawks, scoring 48 points to the Tomahawks 0, and always looked in control of the match. The 20 minute quarters seemed to work against the USA side, with the team only touching the ball at the kick off, with Canberra scoring off each set they had in the match.
The quarters against Tonga were far more entertaining and highlighted the huge potential of the Island. All the Tongans had never played professional football, but really pushed the Raiders. In the first quarter the Raiders played Tonga, the Canberra outfit looked a far more harden side, whilst the Tongans were still trying to gel, and this was shown by the scoreline when the Raiders were up 22 ? 4, however in the second quarter between the two sides, Tonga hit back to win 10 ? 8 to add some respectability to the scoreline.
Big and hard hits by the Tongan forwards, as well as some incredibly fast pace on the wings really troubled the Raiders, and only the fact the Green Machine is such a solid professionally drilled unit separated the teams. Expect to see a few of those Tongan playing in the NRL in the next few years.
Stand out players for the Raiders in the match included Rubin Wiki, Mark McLinden, O'Hara, new PNG recruit, Franciscus as well as Carney and Campese from Premier League.