The Canberra Raiders proved their premiership credentials in a 22-18 win over ladder leaders the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday 17 August.
Coming into the match, the Green Machine hadn’t beaten the Storm in Melbourne in six years and it looked like history was set to repeat as Jack Wighton was sin binned in the first five minutes, followed by Joseph Tapine in the 15th, with the Storm making the most of their advantage on the scoreboard.
A try to Jarrod Croker late in the first half kept the Raiders in touch as they went into the sheds down 18-4. After the break, the Raiders narrowed the margin when Croker scored his second of the night, while Jordan Rapana’s effort set up a grandstand finish.
As the clock ticked down, a successful strip by Josh Hodgson put the Raiders in ideal attacking position from which Josh Papalii burst through the Storm’s defence to crash under the posts and steal the win.
The Raiders host the fourth-placed Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium Canberra on Sunday 25 August, kick-off 4.05pm. The Raiders will wear a special charity round jersey which will be auctioned off after the match via allbids.com.au with proceeds going to Deaf Australia.
Boxall a trailblazer
Australian ice hockey’s first women’s national team captain, Canberra school teacher Stephanie Boxall, was formally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Australia (HHOFA) on Saturday 17 August.
Boxall, who first laced up the blades as a nine year old with the Woden Grizzlies, went on to revolutionise women’s ice hockey in Australia at a time when administrators were grappling with multiple challenges: a sudden growth in ice rinks, a surge in juniors, and a demand for equality between genders.
Boxall was the only girl to represent the ACT in the inaugural President’s Cup (U13) in 1983, and again in 1984 and 1985.
“Only a handful of girls played state ice hockey back then, and the national association decided the game was too dangerous for us,” Boxall said.
With her coach’s support, she took on the sport’s ruling fathers and won, opening the way for her, as well as two girls from WA and Victoria, to participate in national championships with the boys.
Boxall went on to become captain of the Australian national women’s ice hockey team. In 26 international games for Australia, she scored 22 goals and 14 assists for an average 1.4 points a game.
Rolando, O’Neill claim top honours
It was double delight for Canberra Royals sharp-shooter Pedro Rolando claiming the 2019 MacDougall Medal, presented to the ACT Player of the Year, and the Gus Vallance Memorial Trophy, for highest points scorer in the first-grade competition.
The annual awards ceremony, held on Wednesday 14 August, also saw Georgia O’Neill awarded the inaugural Louise Ferris Medal for the Best Player in the Women’s competition.
There was a treble success for the Goulburn Dirty Reds who took home three of the major awards: Geoffrey Shephard (HS Quinn Trophy for Services to Rugby), Mikael Webber (First Division Best & Fairest), and Jordan Lees (Bill Priest Trophy – Monaro Representative Player of the Year).
Other awardees include: Joel Croker (Taralga Tigers) – Second Division Best & Fairest; Christine Thomson (Gungahlin Eagles) – ACTRU Volunteer of the Year; Ben Pratt (Tuggeranong Vikings) – Anderson Trophy for Sportsmanship; Mick Needham (Jindabyne Bushpigs) – Michael Hickey Memorial Trophy for Coach of the Year; Matt Hogan – Peter Lawler Trophy for Referee of the Year; Corey Toole (Eagles) and Rory Scott (Royals) – John Hunter Memorial Trophy for Highest Try Scorer.