An outstanding defensive performance from the Canberra Raiders has led them to a gritty 20-4 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium tonight.
The Raiders produced three brilliant try saving tackles in the first half and shut down the Titans attacking threats all night to seal their third win of the season.
The Raiders hit the scoreboard first after a George Williams pass put Elliott Whitehead straight through the line. Whitehead then gave it to Jarrod Croker who drew in two defenders before a wonderful flick pass found Jordan Rapana to score in the corner.
After some basic errors, the Raiders were then forced to defend their own line and they did exactly that with their first two try savers.
First it was Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad who came up with a superb tackle on Mitch Rein as he lost the ball reaching for the line before Jack Wighton did his best Roger Tuivasa-Sheck impression not long after.
The Titans looked certain to score in the corner through Anthony Don before a desperate Wighton knocked the ball out of hands as he reached out to score.
The Raiders added a penlty goal to make it 8-0 before Nicoll-Klokstad denied Don again as he wrapped him up and dislodged the ball over the line.
Having no luck scoring on the right side, the Titans turned to their other winger for points.
A break down the left side gave the Titans a two on one and despite a valiant attempt by Nicoll-Klokstad, Corey Thompson planted it down in the corner to make it 8-4 at half time.
It was a scrappy contest at times with both sides making several mistakes in a tight first half.
The Raiders started the second half well and made it count with a crash play sending Josh Papalii over from close range to make it 14-4 after 50 minutes.
As the Titans tried everything to get back into the contest, Canberra’s defence simply had all the answers as they repelled attack after attack.
The Titans lost their halfback Jamal Fogarty during the second half and they lost their structure, making it easier for the Raiders to control the game.
Tom Starling came off the bench late to set up Ryan Sutton for the final try of the night and put the finishing touches on the 16-point victory.
Sutton continued his tremendous season with another great game, finishing with 180 run metres and a try in a tireless performance. His middle forward partner Papalii was also outstanding, starting from the bench to run for 186 metres and score a try. Nicoll-Klokstad was the pick of the backs, amassing 269 run metres in a typically brilliant performance from the number one.
The Raiders now face the toughest task in the NRL as they head to Penrith to take on the Panthers in a blockbuster Friday night clash. The Panthers are undefeated this season and haven’t lost a match at their home ground since round 19 2019, against the Raiders.