Despite the ongoing fear of the coronavirus, Jack Wighton put on a show and led the Canberra Raiders to a solid win over the Gold Coast Titans.
With the sides on very different ends of the spectrum coming into 2020, both still had something to prove.
The Titans, last years’ wooden spooners, it is about rebuilding but playing with toughness and tenacity.
Try as they might, their resolve and ticker was not enough to stop the early Raiders onslaught.
For the Raiders, last years’ grand finalists, the signs were positive early on, on the back of Wighton.
He continued his strong 2019 finish with a blistering opening 20 minutes in this clash.
Scoring the game’s first try, Wighton sliced through some lazy Titans defence and opened his and the Raiders account for 2020.
Soon after, on the back of a Corey Horsburgh offload, Wighton had a second try, again slicing the defence.
With Jarrod Croker converting both tries, the Raiders went up 12-0.
The third try would come via Emre Guler, who stormed onto a Josh Hodgson pass to score his first NRL try.
The conversion was good and into the break, the Raiders went up 18-0.
The Titans came out with more intensity to start the second half and were rewarded with a try.
It was Anthony Don, the club’s prolific try-scorer, who cut back inside past several defenders to open the Titans account.
That was try 76 for the club and he moves into outright first on the Titans top try-scorer list.
With the conversion successful, the Titans managed to cut the Raiders lead to 12.
Try as they might, the Titans simply could not procure more points.
In fact, it was the Raiders who would score again as Englishman Elliott Whitehead stormed into a short pass to open his 2020 campaign.
There were chances galore for both sides to score more points or get into attacking positions but they were let down by errors.
With plenty to improve on both sides, they’ll have to go back to the drawing board and assess where their weaknesses were.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Jack Wighton
2. Corey Horsburgh
- Kallum Watkins