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Thursday, 13 June 2019

Raiders hold off fast-finishing Sharks


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The Canberra Raiders held off a fast-finishing Sharks outfit to claim a 22-20 win in freezing conditions in the nation's capital.

The Raiders capitalised on a slow start from the visitors to race to a 20-0 lead within 25 minutes in Canberra, where it was as cold as just 3 degrees Celsius.

But having gone into the half 12 points down, the Sharks finally found a spark in second term. Unfortunately it was too little too late as Canberra captain Jarrod Croker stepped up to nail a 35-metre penalty goal for the lead, before producing a late intercept to seal their third-straight victory.

"Definitely did it the hard way," Raiders' Origin star Jack Wighton said.

Simonsson scores impossible try

Returning from a hamstring injury, halfback Shaun Johnson admitted after the loss that their slow start was pivotal.

"It did hurt us. With that start it's hard to claw back," he said.

"But we got ourselves back in the game. Discipline probably cost us in the end."

Raiders celebrate a try from Jarrod Crocker

It was a record-breaking night for Croker, whose first-half try equalled Raiders great Jason Croker as the club's all-time leading tryscorer (120 tries).

It came on the same night the Canberra skipper also equalled Laurie Daley as the club's second-most capped player with 244 games. Jason Croker has played the most games with 318.

Croker's personal 14-point haul also moved the Raiders' all-time leading pointscorer to the top of this year's pointscoring table with 124.

The signs were ominous for Cronulla the moment fullback Matt Moylan dropped a regulation kick in the second minute.

It was one of a combined ten first-half errors and penalties that allowed Aidan Sezer, Bailey Simonsson and Croker to score in a 20-minute blitz.

"The first 20 minutes just killed the Sharks," NRL legend Johnathan Thurston said post-game on Nine's coverage of the game.

Fifita kickstarts melee with Raiders

Andrew Fifita was also put on report for a crusher tackle on Ryan Sutton.

But just as the Raiders looked poised for an easy night, Josh Dugan and Josh Morris crossed in the space of 10 minutes to reduce the halftime deficit to 20-8.

The comeback continued in the second half, with Braden Hamlin-Uele strolling through the guts and then Dugan levelling the scores soon after.

Hamlin-Uele muscles over the tryline

"We knew the quality of players in that team. They were going to come back, and they nearly did," Sezer said.

"It's good to get the two points leading into the bye.

"Second half we probably missed the assignment a few times so we've got a lot to work on."

- with AAP

The Canberra Raiders held off a fast-finishing Sharks outfit to claim a 22-20 win in freezing conditions in the nation's capital.

The Raiders capitalised on a slow start from the visitors to race to a 20-0 lead within 25 minutes in Canberra, where it was as cold as just 3 degrees Celsius.

But having gone into the half 12 points down, the Sharks finally found a spark in second term. Unfortunately it was too little too late as Canberra captain Jarrod Croker stepped up to nail a 35-metre penalty goal for the lead, before producing a late intercept to seal their third-straight victory.

"Definitely did it the hard way," Raiders' Origin star Jack Wighton said.

Simonsson scores impossible try

Returning from a hamstring injury, halfback Shaun Johnson admitted after the loss that their slow start was pivotal.

"It did hurt us. With that start it's hard to claw back," he said.

"But we got ourselves back in the game. Discipline probably cost us in the end."

Raiders celebrate a try from Jarrod Crocker

It was a record-breaking night for Croker, whose first-half try equalled Raiders great Jason Croker as the club's all-time leading tryscorer (120 tries).

It came on the same night the Canberra skipper also equalled Laurie Daley as the club's second-most capped player with 244 games. Jason Croker has played the most games with 318.

Croker's personal 14-point haul also moved the Raiders' all-time leading pointscorer to the top of this year's pointscoring table with 124.

The signs were ominous for Cronulla the moment fullback Matt Moylan dropped a regulation kick in the second minute.

It was one of a combined ten first-half errors and penalties that allowed Aidan Sezer, Bailey Simonsson and Croker to score in a 20-minute blitz.

"The first 20 minutes just killed the Sharks," NRL legend Johnathan Thurston said post-game on Nine's coverage of the game.

Fifita kickstarts melee with Raiders

Andrew Fifita was also put on report for a crusher tackle on Ryan Sutton.

But just as the Raiders looked poised for an easy night, Josh Dugan and Josh Morris crossed in the space of 10 minutes to reduce the halftime deficit to 20-8.

The comeback continued in the second half, with Braden Hamlin-Uele strolling through the guts and then Dugan levelling the scores soon after.

Hamlin-Uele muscles over the tryline

"We knew the quality of players in that team. They were going to come back, and they nearly did," Sezer said.

"It's good to get the two points leading into the bye.

"Second half we probably missed the assignment a few times so we've got a lot to work on."

- with AAP

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