Full Time
7:50pm Thu August 12, 2021
Round 22 - Sunshine Coast Stadium - Crowd: 2523

Match Overview

Corey Harawira-Naera is looking at a lengthy stint on the sidelines after being sent off for a high shot on Jahrome Hughes as the Raiders fell 26-16 to the Storm on Thursday night.

It was three tries apiece with ill-discipline the difference as Melbourne booted four penalty goals in the 10-point victory.

The win all but wraps up the minor premiership for the Storm, who already were two points ahead of the Panthers and Rabbitohs with three games remaining and have a superior points differential.

The defeat, meanwhile, leaves Canberra vulnerable in the race for a top-eight spot.

The Raiders, like any team facing the Storm, needed to make the most of their opportunities.

They did just that in the fourth minute as a cut-out pass from Jack Wighton put Bailey Simonsson over.

It would be their only points of the half though, with defensive lapses proving costly.

The Storm quickly hit back through Brandon Smith after the hooker dummied and raced through with ease at close range to score.

Poor attempts at tackle from Jarrod Croker and Jordan Rapana in particular then saw Dean Ieremia surge through for Melbourne's second.

The next try was the worst of the lot with Josh Hodgson and Joseph Tapine caught out ball-watching as Chris Lewis sliced through a gaping hole.

A penalty goal was Melbourne's only other points of the half but the Raiders almost struck back late, with Matt Timoko losing possession over the line.

The Raiders began the second half with the same vigour and this time executed perfectly, with Wighton putting Simonsson through once more to reduce the deficit to 10.

Canberra's lethal left-edge duo combined once more to well and truly set up a thrilling finish.

This time Melbourne's Ieremia let a Sam Williams bomb bounce and Wighton pounced before shifting it quickly to Simonsson.

Williams converted both tries from the sideline as the Raiders drew within four points before Melbourne kicked a penalty goal to make it a one-try lead.

Canberra was unable to strike late with the Storm instead slotting a couple of late penalty goals.

The Raiders face the Sea Eagles next week while the Storm take on the Titans.

3. Brandon Smith

A constant menace through the middle, finishing with over 100 metres while getting through plenty of work in defence.

2. Christian Welch

Ran for a team-high 166 metres in just 54 minutes to go with a few dangerous offloads.

1. Jack Wighton

Hudson Young and Harley Smith-Shields impressed. A few poor moments from Wighton but overall showed his class with some well-executed passes to spark the attack.