It was a game that many had as their game of the round as two of the undefeated sides came together to end Super Saturday. Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders.
The Raiders started off brilliantly as they absorbed pressure from the storm and went on the attack.
4 minutes in, close to the Melbourne goal line, Jack Wighton threw a bullet out to Jarrod Croker who tapped it on to Jordan Rapana who went over to open the scoring.
It was Rapana’s first try in his return to the NRL and Croker converted it.
10 minutes in, on the last tackle, Cameron Smith grubbered into the in goal.
Jahrome Hughes chased but Croker got to it first and grounded it.
However, the bunker was referred to to look for a penalty try, looking for interference on Hughes.
Nothing was found and the try was denied.
A few minutes later, the Raiders had the ball on the storm goal line.
This time, it was a George Williams two person cutout ball to Nick Cotric that would crack the defence.
Cotric produced a great finish in the corner to stay in and ground the ball.
Croker again converted to make the lead 12-0.
On the following set, the Raiders knocked on giving Storm great field position.
This field position lead to Ryan Papenhuyzen putting the ball down over the line, or so we thought.
The bunker disallowed the try as Papenhuyzen lost possession over the line, giving the Raiders a 20m restart.
Both sides went back and forth until the half an hour mark when the storm finally got points on the board.
Dale Finucane crashed over right under the posts and Smith converted to make the score 12-6 to Raiders.
This breath of relief didn’t last long as the Raiders continued to weather the storm.
Only 2 minutes after Finucane’s try, Williams dummied his way through the line.
He drew Papenhuyzen and gave the ball to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad who scored under the posts.
Croker converted to make the lead 18-6 to the Raiders. This remained the score until half time.
Both sides went back and forth for the whole second half, with almost no points coming.
They both defended and defended and in the end, with less than a minute left, the Raiders would go over one last time.
On the 5th tackle, Williams faked the kick and ran down to the right side.
A long ball to Curtis Scott, a chip kick from Nick Cotric and the ball was alive.
It was knocked back by Josh Addo-Carr and jumped on by Jo Tapine to score.
Josh Papalii completely shanked the conversion to finish off his 200th game.
The Raiders went down to Melbourne and defeated the Storm 22-6.
It was a dominant defensive performance by the men in green.
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was pleased with his side’s first half but not the second.
“I was really disappointed with how we played and how we executed in the second half and it is not the standard that we are trying to play to,” Stuart said.
“I was very happy with how we started the game… but we didn’t go on with it.
Stuart also went on to praise the grit of his Raiders side.
“It was the grittiness that we showed in the end that was the telling factor,” Stuart continued.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. George Williams
2. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
- Nick Cotric