The Wests Tigers started so well, it never looked like they would be run down in this NRL Round 5 fixture. The Canberra Raiders certainly had other ideas. After going into half time at 24-10, the Raiders returned and led by an outstanding Todd Carney they clawed their way back into the fight.
The talented Todd Carney kicked to perfection and ran to the line at all the right times, getting himself an impressive solo try to get his side into the box seat. The Wests Tigers went from hero’s to zero’s as they tried valliantly to keep a hold of the match, the wounded Tigers given some hope by a strong debut by Matthew Head for his new club. The experienced Head ran the show well and kicked sweetly in a display that will give coach Tim Sheens some good options at the club.
But it was Todd Carney who stole the show – brushing off several Tigers defenders and running 70 metres to score, handing the Raiders the lead, before Adrian Purtell scored his third try in the 80th minute to secure the victory.
Carney was well supported by hooker Lincoln Withers but RaidersÂ five-eighth Terry Campese had a scratchy game, repeatedly kicking straightÂ to Tigers full-back Brett Hodgson.
The TigersÂ opened the scoringÂ with aÂ third-minute try from Taniela Tuiaki try, while half-back Mathew Head looked dangerous throughout the first half on debut for the visitors. It’s hard to pin point exactly where the Tigers went wrong, they held their own in statistics department and looked well structured in attack – they just needed to score more second half points to be any chance. A decision not to take a penalty shot at goal from right in front to give them a 10 point lead proved to be a bad choice, they proceeded to take the tap and lose possession quickly afterwards.
The Canberra Raiders were noteably impressive in defence and will have pleased coach Neil Henry with their solid second half defensive effort. Several try savers from the green machine preventing certain Wests trys to keep their scoresheet clean in the second term.
The only negative for Canberra was the decision of referee Sean Hampstead to place interchange player Trevor Thurling on report for a lifting tackle. Thurling looking to be in some trouble for a dangerous lifting tackle. For the Tigers, their loss proves costly – starting out with some impressive form early in the season, they have now lostÂ 3 games against lower ranked opponents in the Bulldogs, Panthers and Raiders to pile more pressure on themselves.