Canberra Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton

If you had said that the Parramatta Eels and Canberra Raiders would be one of the games of the round in 2019 a year ago, many would not have believed you.

And yet here we were at GIO Stadium in Round 5, both teams with only 1 loss to their name.

The battle proved very vicious too – so vicious Blake Ferguson was left clutching what was surely a broken nose early in the first half and then left the field in the second half with suspected fractured ribs.

Ferguson not being the only casualty, with Joseph Tapine also suffering a bad ankle injury, the third of the round.

The Raiders led the possession leaving the visitors with only 38% of the ball in the first half, however, the boys in blue and gold refused to fold on defense.

After 6 repeat sets, the Raiders finally got their first points for the night in the 27th minute through Josh Papalii after he steamrolled an exhausted Eels defense.

The Eels held strong for the remaining of the half however the home team chose to turn a penalty into points which saw them heading to the sheds up by 8 at half time.

Despite being down by 8, the Eels showed their strength in their best defensive half in 2019 but also showed by far their worst attacking half with only 57% completion rate.

The Eels carried their poor completion into the second half, turning the ball over every time they had any sort of opportunity and leaving their fans feeling deja vu of the round 6 loss in 2018.

The Raiders capitalised, this time a lot quicker, through Elliott Whitehead jumping on a loose ball that the Eels were unable to clean up.

It appeared that the Eels were incapable of completing any sets and the Raiders took full control because of it.

Jack Wighton dominated in the second half and got himself 4 points after he outjumped the Eels defenders for a Sam Williams try assist with a beautiful cross field kick.

The Raiders had moments of excellence in attack but their defence was exceptional as well, holding out Parramatta every chance they had to score.

With 3 minutes to go, Sam Williams wrapped the game up and added some salt to the wounds with an uncontested field goal to extend the lead to 19.

The Eels will travel back to Parramatta having only completed 19 sets of 34 and well and truly feeling the reality check of the Canberra Raiders and GIO Stadium.

NRL News Man of the Match

3. Jack Wighton

2. Josh Papalii

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

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