Full Time
4:05pm Sun March 14, 2021
Round 1 - GIO Stadium Canberra, Bruce - Crowd: 15680

Match Overview

The Canberra Raiders have put in a dominant second half performance to score an impressive 30-12 victory over the Wests Tigers at GIO Stadium.

The opening 40 minutes of action in Canberra was an error-riddled but entertaining affair, with both sides having more than enough chances to get over the line.

The Raiders dominated most of the first half field position and possession, but they weren't able to cross the stripe for the most part. They were initially able to get across in the 10th minute when Sebastian Kris scored, to the jubilation of the home fans. However, the jubilation was short lived when the NRL Bunker stepped in to overturn Gerard Sutton's live call of 'try', with Elliott Whitehead ruled to have knocked on providing the offload for Kris.

The first points of the game ultimately came for the Tigers, 26 minutes into the game when Luke Brooks ran to the line, attracting the Raiders defenders before putting the pass through to Jacob Liddle.

Despite having a battering ram on the Tigers defensive line, it was pure luck that got the Raiders their opening four-pointer of the afternoon - a grubber kick from Jack Wighton took a deflection off a Tigers player and sat nicely for Jordan Rapana to get through first to ground the ball. The conversion from George Williams levelled the scores at 6-all.

The second half was a forgettable one for the Tigers, with all their efforts during the first half amounting to nothing, everything falling to pieces as the clock got closer to 80:00. Canberra opened the scoring in the second half when Ryan James was able to use his size to spin his way to the line and get over the top of little man Daine Laurie to get the ball down.

A lack of possession was hurting the Tigers and when they did get possession, it was a basket case of play. Errors, forward passes - you name it. The Raiders added a penalty goal shortly after the James try before having another four-pointer overruled by the bunker. This occasion saw George Williams have a long-range effort knocked back after Daine Laurie was ruled to have been taken out as the ball was put down.

The visitors started to gain more possession but there was a complete lack of direction or idea in attack and it was the Raiders who took that to their advantage, heading up the other end and capitalising on those errors.

Canberra were able to put two tries on in the final 10 minutes, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad completin a long range effort after Curtis Scott picked up a wayward pass from Tigers winger Asu Kepaoa. The last one came just four minutes from full time when the Tigers defence twice could not complete a tackle on Raiders big man Joseph Tapine before finding Rapana who went over. 

The two Raiders tries were sandwiched around some James Roberts magic where the new Tigers recruit was able to send out a miracle flick offload out to an unmarked David Nofoaluma who scored a consolation try for the visitors.

Next weekend, the Raiders travel to Sydney for a Sunday night clash up against the Sharks at Jubilee Oval - meanwhile the Tigers don't get things any easier when they host the Sydney Roosters at Campbelltown.

3. George Williams

Strong game from the Englishman - Looked to control the attack and looked dangerous in possession

2. Hudson Young

High involvement raid, scored a try but was leading from the front with some big runs

1. Ryan James

Came off the bench and played absolutely brilliantly, looked strong with his runs and forcing his way to a try,