The Canberra Raiders put in a tidy and controlled performance to easily account for a disappointing Titans outfit 36-16 today at Cbus Super Stadium.
Both sides were finding each other out in the opening ten minutes, with neither really getting the upper hand. It was the Titans though who surprised their visitors by putting on the first points of the game.
In the 13th minute, Tanah Boyd on the left side, grubbered to the corner. The ball bounced horribly for Nick Cotric. Phillip Sami followed through, took the ball cleanly and scored. Jamal Fogarty failed to convert from the left sideline.
Canberra took just six minutes to hit back courtesy of a lovely short side play. Siliva Havili linked with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who dummied and then sent a cut-out ball to Cotric who dived over in the corner. Jarrod Croker failed to convert from out wide.
The Raiders scored again in the 24th minute thanks to some lovely hands and a perfectly executed run-around play. Wighton linked with Elliott Whitehead, who took the ball to the line on the left side, showed it to Croker who ran a decoy, before dishing it out the back to Wighton who wrapped around, passed to Jordan Rapana in space. The winger drew the defender and then passed back inside to Wighton who was backing up and he raced over to score. Croker added the extras.
Just three minutes later and Wighton was in again, after he took on the disjointed Titans defensive line, hit a gap and dived over to score a strong solo try. Croker nailed the conversion.
Canberra notched another try four minutes shy of halftime. Tom Starling got the ball at dummy half, 5 metres from the Titans line, went left, dummied and a huge gap opened up. He went through it and reached out to score the try. Croker made no mistake once again.
The second half started almost the same as the first. After 13 minutes of pretty evenly matched footy, the Titans scored first, but not before a magical piece of defence by Josh Papalii who managed to successfully bring a runaway Fogarty down with an ankletap.
Three minutes later, Fogarty got a great ball as he fell forward in a tackle, found AJ Brimson running onto the ball at pace, who then split the two defenders and got the ball down for a good try. Fogarty converted.
The Raiders once again hit back just a few minutes later. Starling at dummy half, fired a crash ball to Hudson Young, who barged over for a strong try. Croker again converted.
Three minutes past before the Raiders were across the stripe again when Cotric received a gift intercept, 15 metres from the Titans line, and raced over to score to the right of the posts. Croker again converted.
The Titans very slim chance to win the game was kept alive in the 73rd minute courtesy of a try to Keegan Hipgrave under the posts after a break by the Titans on the play prior. Fogarty converted.
The game was put beyond doubt with a 76th minute penalty goal to Jarrod Croker.