CANBERRA have shrugged off the Todd Carney affair to blow away a young Gold Coast side 46-4 at Canberra Stadium and slot themselves into the NRL Top 8.
Local junior Marc Herbert filled in for Carney in the Raiders lineup; the rookie landed himself a try and guided the Canberra team around the park well.
Green Machine pivot Terry Campese was dynamic in his playmaking role. Kicking 7 conversions and was denied a try but laid on plenty of others including Herbert’s.
Coach Neil Henry was naturally extremely happy for his halves in the job their did under pressure after a shocking week for the club, having to deal with the Todd Carney and Bronx Goodwin affair, then former player Steve Irwin coming forward to discuss last years alleged cover-up.
“Herbie was tremendous. He had to do a fair bit of defence out there,” Henry said.
“That’s a great debut for the kid.”
While the Raiders’ attacking dominance put a smile on the coach’s face it was the defence and skills which gave him most satisfaction.
“What we haven’t done in the last six weeks is properly held the ball in the second half and controlled it as well as we did tonight.”
Titans mentor John Cartwright was full of praise for the lime green and offered no excuses despite his outfit missing four key players.
“They’re a top-four side,” Cartwright said.
“They’re playing with confidence. It was one of their performances where everything that could go right for them did.”
Gold Coast are expecting Daniel Conn and Mark Minichiello to return to first grade in the coming weeks, Cartwright said, but remain without their Origin star Scott Prince.
Campese put in his best game of the season and will need to do the same for the next six weeks with the Raiders chief executive Don Furner saying Carney would need to accept a season-ending ban if he wanted to stay at the club.
“The board met tonight and decided that for Todd Carney to remain at the Raiders he will have to accept a plan for the rest of this year which will include being stood down for the remainder of the season, from playing and training,” Furner said.
Fringe first grader Bronx Goodwin was also involved in the drinking session with Carney and will face two counts of assault at the ACT Magistrates’ Court on August 11.
Furner said a decision on Goodwin’s future would not be made until after the court hearing.
Carney and his manager are expected to meet the club on Monday.