It was a win that has Raiders coach David Furner confident that his side has what it takes to win finals footy games – as they fought hard, and ground out a 20-10 victory over the Penrith Panthers.
It was their defence in the first half that set the tone, as the Raiders turned on the afterburners in the second half, scoring four tries off the back of some crafty play.
With the wind wreaking havoc for both teams at different parts of the game, whilst Furner knows that the win was ugly, it was one that he will gladly take.
“I thought our defence was pretty gutsy. Whilst it is ugly, I am happy with the two points,” Furner said.
“We wanted to get into the grind straight away. To hold them to 6-0 after not being able to build pressure on their scoreline was a good result at halftime.
The game was not without controversy however, when a contentious benefit of the doubt try was given to Raiders centre Jarrod Croker – though the evidence of the ball touching his hand, appeared to be inconclusive.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary clearly thought that it was a no-try, with the former Warriors coach sparking fresh campaigns for the introduction of a coaches challenge.
“He (the video ref) must be looking at something different to me. I actually thought it was a no-brainer,” Cleary said.
“I reckon if you look at Jarrod Croker and his body language after he grounds it, it often gives a good indication. I might be wrong but I reckon a lot of players out there would have expected the red light to come up. But that’s life. I guess it was one of those days in a sense.”
With the last three weeks before this afternoon’s clash inconsistent by the Raiders to say the least, and David Shillington was pleased that his side had notched up back-to-back wins for just the second time this year.
“It’s nice to still be in the race for the finals, that is where we want to be and the belief is still there so this win moves us up and, if we can win week-to-week, it would be great to be there in September,” he said.