The win might have been the Canberra Raiders biggest comeback in their history but match against the Wests Tigers was one that was shrouded with some controversy.
A loud, passionate crowd of just over 13,000 made their way to Leichhardt Oval, with the most contentious call of the game coming late on against the Tigers.
The Tigers ran a play that resulted in Luke Brooks scoring and after referee Henry Perenara sent it upstairs due to an obstruction, the video ref concurred and the decision stood.
It was ultimately the last chance for the Tigers, as the Raiders resolve and ticker to stay in the contest and create opportunities, led to their record comeback win.
It was all one-way traffic early on in the Tigers favour, as the Raiders were their own worst enemy with errors, bad decisions and penalties.
The Tigers capitalised on opportunities presented to them and took a deserved 22-0 lead throughout the game. The match had added significance, with the Tigers players talking of their affinity for the sacred Leichhardt Oval ground.
There was a dampener for the Raiders, though, with forward Josh Papalii placed on report for a crusher tackle.
Jordan Rapana started poorly in the game but in the end, he proved to be the hero, as he scored the try that put the icing on the cake for the Raiders.
He drew praise from Raiders captain Jarrod Croker, who knew that Rapana would want to make amends.
“It’s good for his mental side of things. You make a mistake and you don’t want to dwell on it,” said Croker.
You talk about keeping your head up and moving on and Rappa did that straightway so it’s a credit to him. He had a good game, and it’s good to see him growing,”.
Despite the fans love of Leichhardt and the players affinity with the venue, Tigers coach Jason Taylor admits that an agreement to continue playing their looks more and more unlikely.
Player of the Game:
3. Jordan Rapana
2. Robbie Farah
1. James Tedesco
Canberra Raiders 30 (Shannon Boyd, Jarrod Croker, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Jack Wighton, Jordan Rapana tries; Jarrod Croker 5 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 22 (Tim Simona, Keith Galloway, Luke Brooks, Pat Richards tries; Pat Richards 3 goals). Crowd: 13,198. Halftime: 22-12.