Full Time
7:50pm Thu June 13, 2019
Round 14 - GIO Stadium Canberra - Crowd: 10021

Match Overview

The Canberra Raiders have withstood a spirited comeback to down the Cronulla Sharks 22-20 at GIO Stadium, despite scoring less tries than their opponents.

Jack Wighton was more diamonds than rocks on Thursday night as he looked to cement his spot in Brad Fittler's Blues squad. 

While kicking it out on the full in a set after points, the five-eighth was at his creative best otherwise with a hand in two tries. 

The Raiders and NSW Blues will be sweating on scans though after winger Nick Cotric went down with an ankle injury in the second half.

At that point the game was in the balance, a surprise after Cronulla's error-riddled start to the game saw them slump to an early 20-0 deficit. 

After opting for the two points early, the Raiders then added the first try of the night when Aidan Sezer took on the line and reached out to score in the 9th minute.

A mistake from Kurt Capewell then brought Canberra back into the Cronulla red zone and they immediately capitalised.

Jack Wighton threw it long to Jarrod Croker who then sent a flying Bailey Simonsson over in the corner.

Wighton was at it again moments later, this time playing it short for Croker who bagged a try of his own. 

A late lapse from the home side invited Cronulla back into the contest and they took full advantage, posting two tries before the break. 

The first came when Chad Townsend spotted space behind the Canberra defensive line to kick through for Josh Dugan.

A late Wade Graham offload then saw Josh Morris surge over to reduce the deficit to 12 at the break.

Some have suggested that Townsend would be a welcome addition to the Origin side if selected. Both his blessing and curse, however, is that he continues to fly under the radar. 

But he led from the front on Thursday night, putting a charging Braden Hamlin-Uele over under the posts for the first try of the second half.

Suddenly Cronulla locked things up as Johnson played it short to Dugan who stormed over out wide. 

In the end, despite scoring more tries the Sharks fell short, a late Croker penalty goal the difference. 

3. Josh Papali'i

A really strong performance up front with over 180 running metres from just 60 minutes on the field.

2. Chad Townsend

A more polished performance than Wighton. Two try-assists, one line break and a consistent kicking game.

1. Jack Wighton

That poor kick out on the full was the only real blemish on an otherwise strong performance. A hand in two tries and forced two dropouts.