Full Time
6:00pm Fri May 17, 2024
Round 11 - Suncorp Stadium, Milton / Yuggera-Turrbal - Crowd: 50971

Match Overview

Canberra show flash and determination to dog walk Canterbury at Suncorp.

Magic round kicked off with a mid-table clash between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Canberra Raiders. What many expected to be a mundane match was filled with twists and excitement, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats until the last minute.

A Kaeo Weekes kick was spilt by Connor Tracey in just the fourth minute of the game which Xavier Savage pounced on to open the scoring. Rapana converted but soon both sides were back in the arm wrestle. Josh Addo-Carr looked close to scoring but had a foot in touch, and Canberra later capitalised on another Bulldogs error for Sebastian Kris to cross over untouched.

It was 12-0 and the Raiders looked right on top as they dominated the pace towards the backend of the half. Eventually, the momentum flipped through a mistake to Canberra where cult hero Jacob Preston dived on a grubber kick which not even two Raiders players could contain.

A kick from Matt Burton found Josh Addo-Carr who kicked for himself and was taken out by Jordan Rapana on the chase. The bunker found it was a professional foul by the Raiders fullback and Canterbury scored easily off the next set, spreading the ball to Stephen Crichton who barreled his way over on the right edge. Burton missed the kick and it was 12-10 to Canberra with 2 minutes to play… but the first half had even more in store for us. 

Josh Papali'i was sent to the sin bin in the 39th minute for a nasty hip drop on Viliame Kikau which will likely have him in trouble by the Match Review Committee. Down to 11 men, a try was ominous and although the half time hooter was in sight, Drew Hutchinson was cool and calm threading the needle through with a crafty kick. Matt Burton jumped at the opportunity to score but couldn't make the conversion. Half time. 14-12 Dogs favour.

The Bulldogs looked to pile on points in the second 40, with Jacob Kiraz crossing for a simple try in the 42nd minute, still making the most of the 11 manned Raiders side. They rushed to a 20-12 lead, but it was only downhill from there with Papali'I and Rapana returning from the sin bin and having an instant effect. Ethan Strange set up Hudson Young beautifully and soon it was 18-14 with 28 minutes to play.

Canberra halfback Kaeo Weekes continued with his strong performance where he controlled the tempo with some nice kicks before unleashing his dynamic best to make a 60m linebreak where he cam agonisingly close to scoring. With Canterbury struggling to get back, Ethan Strange could set up his second try for the match, again to Hudson Young who crossed the line to score an easy try.

With momentum flipping so fast, Ricky Stuart's men led 24-20 with only 17 minutes to play. The Bulldogs had ample chances to put points on the board, but poor attack put their field position to waste as they blew chance after chance. Ultimately neither team could score again and Canberra held on to a gritty and hard fought win to kick off magic round in style.

3. Kaeo Weekes

2. Ethan Strange

1. Jacob Kiraz