Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Korbin Sims to play alongside brother Tariq after signing with the Dragons

Brisbane Broncos forward Korbin Sims

Korbin Sims will have the chance to play alongside brother Tariq, after signing a 3-year deal with the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Sims will depart current club the Brisbane Broncos at season’s end, with the Gerringong junior returning to his roots.

Sims, also a Fijian international, has so far played in 112 NRL games, and the club believe his best is yet to come.

“Korbin has some really good years in front of him,” Director of Rugby League Pathways and List Management Ian Millward said

We believe he is coming into his prime, and he brings us some stability and experience as well as being a really good replacement for Leeson moving forward.”

“The club spoke to (Broncos coach) Wayne Bennett about Korbin, and he gave him a big rap as a person and coachable-wise, and where he sees him developing moving forward.

We’re really pleased to get him on board.”

The signing of Korbin will help continue the development of some of their flourishing young forwards.

“We have some really good emerging forwards that Korbin will help in their development too, like Luciano Leilua, Jacob Host, Josh Kerr, Jackson Ford, Reece Robson and the like,” Millward continued.

Sharks veteran back-rower Lewis to retire at season’s end

Cronulla Sharks back-rower Luke Lewis

After 18 years at the highest level, Cronulla Sharks veteran back-rower Luke Lewis will hang up the boots. 

Having done everything in the game; passing 300 games, winning premierships, playing Origin and for Australia, the time felt right to for the veteran.

“It’s been an awesome 18 years and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ll retire with great memories,” Lewis began.

“My family and friends have obviously given me great support over the years, I’ve made long-time and what will be life-long friendships, with people in and around the game but also outside of footy.

And I also want to give a massive thanks to the fans.

Lewis, a key member of the Sharks inaugural premiership success in 2016, also won the Clive Churchill Medal.

That would be his second premiership having won one thirteen years beforehand with the Penrith Panthers.

Lewis thanked fans from the Sharks, the Panthers and across the code for the support they have given him.

“I’ve had fantastic support, not just at the Sharks, not only when I was at the Panthers, but from rugby league fans in general,” Lewis continued.

“People who have always supported and stuck by me. I couldn’t have got to where I am now without them.”

Lewis is also grateful for his opportunities, both as a Penrith junior and his career there, as well as to the Sharks for taking him on.

“Growing up in the area and playing for Penrith was a huge thrill for me and I’m thankful for the years I spent at the Panthers and I’m grateful for the opportunity to come to the Sharks six years ago,” the veteran back-rower continued.

“Playing in a Grand Final at the Sharks and to win the first premiership in the club’s history, the mates I’ve made while I’ve been here, it’s something I’ll hold close for the rest of my life.”


Raiders re-signing spree continues as Oldfield stays on

Canberra Raiders winger Michael Oldfield

Getting a chance to perform this year somewhat unexpectedly, Canberra Raiders winger Michael Oldfield has taken his chance.

Deputising when Jordan Rapana was out injured, his form was good enough that the Raiders have re-signed the winger for two more seasons.

Currently enjoying his footy with the Raiders, Oldfield was pleased to be given the opportunity.

“I’m really enjoying my time here in Canberra and to sign a new two-year deal is great for my career,” Oldfield said.

“It’s great that Ricky and the coaching staff have given me the opportunity to get into the NRL team over the past few weeks and I’m really enjoying my footy at the moment.”

In the end, Oldfield’s experience and professionalism led to his re-signing.

“Michael is an experienced player who showed against the Cowboys just what he is capable of when given the opportunity to come into the NRL team,” Raiders Recruitment and High-Performance Director Peter Mulholland said.

“He’s also very professional in his approach to his training and is a great role model for younger players in the squad.

“We believe Michael will continue to be a very valuable member of our squad over the next two seasons.”

Havili rewarded with new Raiders deal

Canberra Raiders hooker Siliva Havili

Deputising for Josh Hodgson before he returned to the Canberra Raiders side, the club has re-signed Siliva Havili.

Havili, who joined the club following his 2017 World Cup campaign with Tonga, expected to fight for the spot.

When Hodgson went down with an ACL injury during the tournament, however, he became the go-to man at hooker.

Playing across hooker, lock and from the bench, Havili impressed many and as such, has now been given a new two-year deal.

It was an easy decision for Havili to stay, who believes that the nation’s capital is the best place for him to be right now.

“Canberra is the best place for me to be in terms of my career and I’m really excited about re-signing with the Raiders,” Havili said.

“Ricky Stuart and the players and staff have really welcomed me into the club and I’m really enjoying being part of this team.”

There was nothing but praise from the club also, making note of Havili’s versatility.

“Siliva has done a wonderful job for us this year and has gone from a player who could handle a few minutes from the bench to a player who is capable of putting together a full 80-minute NRL performance,” Raiders Recruitment and High-Performance Director Peter Mulholland said.

“He’s a versatile player who can play a number of positions and roles for us and we believe he will continue to improve as a player with the more matches he plays at the top level.”

New pastures for Lolohea as he signs with Leeds

Wests Tigers utility back Tui Lolohea

After a brief Wests Tigers stint, Tui Lolohea will take his abilities to England after signing with the Leeds Rhinos. 

What made his decision easier was having previously played at Headingley, when he was a part of the New Zealand Kiwis side in 2015.

“I have always remembered that game back in 2015 when I played at Emerald Headingley with the Kiwis,” the utility back said.

“The singing and support for the Leeds boys was amazing and I can’t wait to play for those supporters.

In the end, the passion of the fans stuck with him and that prompted his decision to sign for Leeds.

“That game was Kylie Leuluai’s farewell game for the club and I remember the warmth and passion the supporters had for him and the team, that was special,” Lolohea continued.

“People talk about the passion that the English fans have for the game but I had seen it for myself and it was definitely a factor when I was thinking about who to sign for.”

Although he is a long way from home, the move excites Lolohea and he wants to take the chance presented to him.

“I am really excited, it is a long way from home but a different challenge for me and something I am looking forward to,” Lolohea said.

“I want to be part of the Rhinos team and I can hopefully bring my energy to the game over there.

“It will be very different for me and a new way of life.

I am still really young and this is a big journey for me and I want to make the most of my career and my time in England.”

With the move now sorted, Lolohea’s sights are focused on finishing his 2018 season with the Tigers strongly.

“I have had a couple of injuries this year that have held me back at bit but I am looking forward to finishing the season strongly with the Tigers and then making the most of the opportunity to come over to Super League,” added Lolohea.

Recently appointed Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield praised the signing and knows Lolohea will be a good addition to the side.

“I have seen Kevin play for a number of years and admired him,” Sinfield said.

“The professional level that he brought to his whole playing career is going to be massive for the whole team.

I am looking forward to being part of his team.”

In a brief statement released by the Wests Tigers, the club thanked Lolohea for his service to the club and wish him well upon his departure at season’s end.

New deal for Jayson Bukuya at the Cronulla Sharks

Cronulla Sharks back-rower Jayson Bukuya

One of their more unheralded players, the Cronulla Sharks have retained Jayson Bukuya on a 2-year deal. 

Making his debut as a 19-year old back in 2008, Bukuya has since played in 141 NRL games for the Sharks.

In between his two stints with the club, there was one season at the New Zealand Warriors where he played in 18 NRL games.

The new deal pleases Bukuya and gives he and his family job security.

“I am pleased with the deal, for me and for my family,” Bukuya said.

“It gives us a bit more security and to represent the Sharks for the next two years is something special.”

The back-rower is proud to don the Sharks jersey.

“The majority of my football has been here at the Sharks and I’m pleased to stay here,” Bukuya continued.


NRL Teams Rd 18

Here we are! NRL Teams Rd 18 and back to the full quota of games. 

There is still plenty to play for at the top as teams vie for the minor premiership, top eight spots and to avoid the wooden spoon.

So, here we are; NRL teams for rd 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLpencro); Panthers Stadium, Penrith; Friday, July 13. Kick-off: 6 pm. 

Panthers: 1. Caleb Aekins 2. Christian Crichton 3. Waqa Blake 4. Dean Whare 5. Tyrone Phillips 6. Tyrone May 7. Jarome Luai 8. Trent Merrin 9. Sione Katoa 10. James Tamou 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo (C) 13. James Fisher-Harris.

Interchange: 14. Wayde Egan 15. Corey Harawira-Naerea 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Moses Leota.

Reserves: 18. Liam Martin 19. Kaide Ellis 20. Tyrone Peachey 21. James Maloney 22. Nathan Cleary.

Coach: Anthony Griffin

Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Edrick Lee 6. Matt Moylan 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Joseph Paulo 15. James Segeyaro 16. Aaron Woods 17. Jayson Bukuya.

Reserves: 18. Scott Sorenson 19. Ava Seumanufagai 20. Sosaia Feki 21. Kyle Flanagan.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels (#NRLnewpar); McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle; Friday, July 13. Kick-off: 7:55 pm. 

Knights: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Ken Sio 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Cory Denniss 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Connor Watson 7. Mitchell Pearce (C) 8. Josh King 9. Danny Levi 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Mitch Barnett 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Herman Ese’ese.

Interchange: 14. Nathan Ross 15. Chris Heighington 16. Jamie Buhrer (C) 17. Jacob Lillyman.

Reserves: 18. Luke Yates 19. Sam Stone 20. Jack Cogger 21. JJ Felise.

Coach: Nathan Brown.

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson (C) 2. Bevan French 3. Michael Jennings 4. Jarryd Hayne 5. George Jennings 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Cameron King 10. Siosaia Vave 11. Marata Niukore 12. Brad Takairangi 13. Nathan Brown.

Interchange: 14. Tepai Moeroa 15. Tim Mannah (C) 16. David Gower 17. Peni Terepo.

Reserves: 18. Kane Evans 19. Kirisome Auva’a 20. Jaeman Salmon 21. Kaysa Pritchard.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLcbysou); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Saturday, July 14. Kick-off: 3 pm. 

Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Kerrod Holland 5. Reimis Smith 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Jeremy Marshall-King 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. David Klemmer 11. Josh Jackson (C) 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Adam Elliott.

Interchange: 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Clay Priest 16. Ofahiki Ogden 17. Danny Fualalo.

Reserves: 18. Asipeli Fine 19. Matt Frawley 20. Francis Tualau 21. John Olive.

Coach: Dean Pay.

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Campbell Graham 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Dane Gagai 5. Robert Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. George Burgess 11. John Sutton (C) 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess.

Interchange: 14. Adam Doueihi 15. Cameron Murray 16. Mark Nicholls 17. Tevita Tatola.

Reserves: 18. Matt McIlwrick 19. Braidon Burns 20. Dean Britt 21. Kyle Turner 22. Billy Brittain.

Coach: Anthony Seibold.

Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm (#NRLmanmel); Lottoland, Brookvale; Saturday, July 14. Kick-off: 5:30 pm.

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matt Wright 3. Moses Suli 4. Brian Kelly 5. Brad Parker 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C) 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Manase Fainu 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Shaun Lane 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Trent Hodkinson 15. Kelepi Tanginoa 16. Frank Winterstein 17. Taniela Paseka.

Reserves: 18. Jorge Taufua 19. Thomas Wright 20. Tevita Funa 21. Toafofoa Sipley 22. Lloyd Perrett.

Coach: Trent Barrett.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Kenny Bromwich.

Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tim Glasby 16. Christian Welch 17. Joe Stimson.

Reserves: 18. Cheyse Blair 19. Tui Kamikamica 20. Young Tonumaipea 21. Ryley Jacks 22. Brodie Croft 23. Albert Vete.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLcannql); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Saturday, July 14. Kick-off: 7:35 pm. 

Raiders: 1. Nick Cotric 2. Michael Oldfield 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Sam Williams 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Josh Papalii.

Interchange: 14. Blake Austin 15. Luke Bateman 16. Siliva Havili 17. Iosia Soliola.

Reserves: 18. Liam Knight 19. Jack Murchie 20. Royce Hunt 21. Craig Garvey.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Enari Tuala 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. Ben Hampton 15. Shaun Fensom 16. Shane Wright 17. Corey Jensen.

Reserves: 18. Justin O’Neill 19. Ethan Lowe 20. Mitchell Dunn 21. Francis Molo 23. Jake Clifford.

Coach: Paul Green.

Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLbriwar); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Sunday, July 15. Kick-off: 2 pm.

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (C) 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Jordan Kahu 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Matt Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Kotoni Staggs 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Korbin Sims 17. Tevita Pangai Jr.

Reserves: 18. Jonus Pearson 19. Patrick Mago 20. David Fifita 21. Sam Tagatese 22. Jake Turpin 23. Tom Opacic.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Gerard Beale 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Simon Mannering 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Tevita Satae 16. Joseph Vuna 17. Anthony Gelling.

Reserves: 18. Ligi Sao 19. Karl Lawton 20. Blake Ayshford 21. Mason Lino.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers (#NRLsgiwst); WIN Jubilee Oval, Wollongong; Sunday, July 15. Kick-off: 4:10 pm. 

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Kurt Mann 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Luciano Leilua.

Reserves: 18. Patrick Herbert 19. Hame Sele 20. Blake Lawrie 21. Reece Robson 22. Jai Field 23. Darren Nicholls.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Tigers: 1. Moses Mbye 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Corey Thompson 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Russell Packer (C) 9. Robbie Farah 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Josh Aloiai 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Alex Twal 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Matt Eisenhuth.

Reserves: 18. Jacob Liddle 19. Luke Garner 20. Tim Grant 21. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Gold Coast Titans v Sydney Roosters (#NRLgldsyd); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Sunday, July 15. Kick-off: 6:30 pm. 

Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Konrad Hurrell 4. Brenko Lee 5. Philip Sami 6. AJ Brimson 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Ryan James (C) 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Arrow.

Interchange: 14. Mitch Rein 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Will Matthews 17. Jack Stockwell.

Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Leilani Latu 20. Kane Elgey 21. Brendan Elliott 22. Jai Whitbread.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 11. Nat Butcher 12. Victor Radley 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Zane Tetevano 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Mitch Aubusson 17. Kurt Baptiste.

Reserves: 18. Matt Ikuvalu 19. Sitili Tupouniua 20. Ryan Matterson 21. Sean O’Sullivan 22. Paul Momirovski 23. Poasa Faamausili.

Coach: Trent Robinson.


Move to England beckons as Austin signs with Warrington

Canberra Raiders utility Blake Austin

He was linked to NRL clubs but it is a Super League that has snared the signature of Blake Austin, with the Canberra Raiders utility joining the Warrington Wolves.

The three-year deal will begin for the 2019 season and during his time at the Raiders, Austin has had his ups and downs.

Joining the club in 2015, he immediately impressed and went on to win the 2015 Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year Award.

Since then, he has, at times, struggled to replicate that form, eventually leading to his moving in and out of first-grade.

Despite those inconsistencies, Austin praised the Raiders for the last four years he has spent at the club.

“I’d like to thank Ricky, Don and the club for presenting me and my family with the opportunities they have over the past four years,” Austin said.

“Thanks to my team mates and the Canberra members and fans for embracing me as one of their own.”

Although the move is confirmed, the Raiders are still in the finals hunt and Austin wants to play at his best to help them make it.

“I hope to be remembered as a guy that gave his all in green,” the utility continued.

“I look forward to playing the best footy I can for the remainder of the 2018 season.”

The Wolves are pleased to have signed someone of his calibre, and he is a player that coach Steve Price has watched closely.

“I’ve watched Blake closely for a number of years over in the NRL and he’s a guy who, when you come to review the opposition, your game plan heavily revolves around which says a lot about the type of player he is,” the former NRL coach said.

Price continued with his praise for Austin, highlighting specific areas of his game.

“He has an outstanding running game and is always a threat with the ball in his hand,” continued Price.

“He’s a big body so hard to handle with electric footwork.

“I feel he is going to be a quality signing for our club and I’m excited to be able to work with Blake next year.”

With his move now confirmed, Austin is excited to experience the English culture and the Super League come 2019.

“I’m really excited to be joining the Warrington Wolves,” Austin said.

“No-one I’ve spoken to has had a bad word to say about the club.

“I’m stoked I get the chance to come over in what I believe can be the best years of my footy career, and not a cameo at the tail end of my career.”

Austin is looking forward to embracing his English experience and playing alongside his new team-mates.

“My partner and I have always wanted to experience England and the Super League, and can’t wait to embrace the Wolves and everything Warrington has to offer,” Austin continued.

“I look forward to working with Pricey and all the boys, with the goal of delivering silverware to the club.”


Ah Mau the latest player to return home to New Zealand

St George Illawarra Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau

He is not the first and will not be the last as St George Illawarra Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau opts to return to the New Zealand Warriors.

Making his debut with the Warriors back in 2009, Ah Mau eventually moved to the Dragons side in 2012.

Since then, he played in 130 games for the Red V, won Players’ Player in 2015 and has been a fan favourite.

In the end, a return home was too good to turn down and the club understand Ah Mau’s decision, praising his time at the club.

“Leeson is a player we tried to retain but we also understood that there were a lot of other implications and they’re not always about money,” Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward said.

“He’s given outstanding service – not only this season, but his previous seasons – and he’s been a real benchmark for our other forwards in terms of how he’s gone about his business and the way he’s played the game.

The announced move now gives the Dragons a chance to search for an appropriate replacement on the open market.

“At the end of the day, we’re really delighted he’s been able to secure a contract,” continued Millward.

“We understand the reasons why he didn’t accept our offer and we can’t applaud him enough for what he’s done for the Dragons.

“We also appreciate that he signalled his intentions early so we have been active in the market place seeking a replacement for Leeson.”

The Dragons will always be near and dear to him but in the end, family means everything to Ah Mau.

“I love all the boys, the coaching staff and the fans so it was very tough,” Ah Mau said.

“I had to do what was right for my young family though. Having the support around my wife and daughter was the major factor.

“The Dragons will always hold a special place in my heart.

Despite his tenure ending at the end of the season, Ah Mau praised the club’s fans and wants to finish the 2018 season strongly.

“I definitely enjoyed my time here and I’m looking forward to finishing the year on a high,” the prop continued.

“I’ll miss everyone, especially the fans. They’ve been wonderful to me over the past seven years and I always love playing in front of them.”

The addition of Ah Mau is a boost for the Warriors pack and the club are pleased.

“Leeson will be a wonderful addition to our squad from next season,” said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.

“He’s a big forward who is consistently one of the Dragons’ best week in, week out.”

Ah Mau is just the sort of player the Warriors are looking for and Kearney knows he will have a good impact.

“He fits the mould of the type of player we’re building our squad around – tough, durable and with a tremendous attitude in all he does on and off the field,” the Warriors coach continued.

“We’ve always had an interest in him as did a number of clubs, so we’re really excited he was keen to come back home and join the club he started with.”

Supersub Blake Austin rescues Canberra Raiders in dramatic comeback win over Canterbury Bulldogs

Canberra Raiders utility Blake Austin

Is his role now as a supersub? Last night’s result suggests so as Blake Austin turned on the magic in the Canberra Raiders late comeback victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Despite a remarkable 24 points from Bulldogs back-rower Rhyse Martin (3 tries & 6 goals), all the plaudits will go to Austin.

After a poor showing last week, he was dropped to the bench and replaced in the halves by Sam Williams.

It was far from all roses for the Raiders, though; Brad Abbey suffered concussion, Shannon Boyd a calf injury and Joseph Tapine facing suspension.

It was a terrible start by the Raiders. Williams kicked the ball out on the full in the third minute before the Dogs scored soon after.

Jeremy Marshall-King slicing through some soft defence off a scrum play to score.

The Raiders would hit back as Jarrod Croker used all his experience to outmuscle Kerrod Holland, before finding Williams inside to score.

A penalty goal put the Dogs back in front before Croker did it again. Overpowering Holland close to the line to get himself on the scoresheet.

Martin then scored the first of his tries, running onto a lovely short ball from young Dogs half Lachlan Lewis.

Croker was then involved yet again in the Raiders try; this time offloading for Nick Cotric to score in the corner.

It all went downhill from there and Joey Leilua was the culprit.

First, he lost the ball in the Raiders search for points. To make it worse, he piped up with backchat to the officials and was then penalised.

Martin’s second try then came off a Lewis kick that was batted down by Josh Morris.

Not long after, the back-rower had his hat-trick. Josh Morris made the break, busted tackles and then found Martin to cross the line.

The Raiders looked down-and-out, with errors plaguing their chances to score.

Enter the supersub, Blake Austin. Perhaps not quite the supersub in the Dean Widders mold, Austin produced a worldly performance to miraculously get the Raiders a win.

He got one back in the 75th minute with a huge step to score.

Tapine then got his name on the scorers list when he crashed over before, somehow, the Raiders scored again; three tries in five minutes.

It was Austin again, making the break before Leilua redeemed himself; powering over the Morris twins to score and win the game for the Raiders.

There was no-one to blame but themselves for the loss, as Dogs coach Dean Pay lamented his side’s poor finish.

“For all the hard work they put in, we just did a couple of poor things at the end there, we missed some tackles, easy one-on-ones,” Pay said post-game.

“We didn’t get the ball back off the kick off, had the ball stripped from Lich (hooker Michael Lichaa).

It was an accumulation of things that went against us and we couldn’t stop it.”

Austin drew nothing but praise from Canberra coach Ricky Stuart.

“After last week’s game [26-22 loss to Broncos] I felt for Blake because he’s had a tough week,” Stuart said.

“He certainly added a bit of vibe and feel to the team, some spark that we lacked all game.”

Player of the Game:

3. Blake Austin

2. Rhyse Martin

  1. Jarrod Croker