There was cause for celebration for the Canberra Raiders not just because they won the game convincingly but because they won their first game at home in 2015.
It came in an emphatic fashion as they obliterated the Gold Coast Titans 56-16 in front of the Raiders faithful, and what a night it was for them.
Led by Blake Austin, the Raiders were clinical in the second half especially and it was a flurry of tries early in that half that set up the comprehensive win.
The game was rather even early on as both teams traded tries and capitalised on errors before the switch went off for the Raiders side.
The Titans had no answer in the second half, as the Raiders attacked the left edge, right edge and the middle with voracity and vigour.
Outmatched across the park, it is back to the drawing board for the Titans, with winger Anthony Don the only highlight, scoring a hat-trick.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the NSW halves, one true bolter is Blake Austin. In the form of his career at the moment, many consider him an x-factor and he has a supporter in Titans coach Neil Henry.
“He’s a runner and he’s strong, he’s quite quick and he supports the ball,” Titans coach Neil Henry said.
“He can be a handful if you show him some space and we certainly gave him some opportunities today. We’re just disappointed in how we let Blake Austin (through), you can talk about his step all you likeâ€¦ but he still went through us.
“We handled him in the back end of the gameâ€¦ but that needed to happen right at the start.”
Such talk of Origin for Austin was quickly hosed down by Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, though. He wants the focus for his players to be on club duties.
“We’re not looking at rep selection were just worrying about him playing for the Raiders and keeping a little bit of stability in his game,” Stuart said.
“He’s just doing his job for usâ€¦ we wont be talking about rep football with our players.”
Despite the heavy loss, Henry was quick to praise back-rower Ryan James who believes was solid in the absence of veteran Greg Bird.
“I don’t think he overdid it,” Neil Henry said.
“I think he was in a battle there with Frank-Paul, I think it was good footy.
“I don’t mind that match up, I thought he was outstanding for us and we need more of it.”
Player of the Game:
3. Blake Austin
2. Jarrod Croker
1. Iosia Soliola
Canberra Raiders 56 (Blake Austin 2, Jarrod Croker 2, Paul Vaughan, Jordan Rapana, Josh Papalii, Sia Soliola, Edrick Lee, Sam Williams tries; Jarrod Croker 8 goals) def. Gold Coast Titans 16 (Anthony Don 3 tries; Aidan Sezer 2 goals) at GIO Stadium. Crowd: 8116. Half-time: Raiders 24-10.