Raiders pip Dragons with golden point try



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    Canberra’s faint finals hopes are alive after a thrilling golden-point NRL victory over St George Illawarra ended their abysmal run in tight finishes.

    In a dour affair, the Raiders ran out 18-14 winners in front of 10,977 fans at GIO Stadium on Friday night.

    A 40-20 kick from Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer in extra time set up the victory with Elliott Whitehead crossing for the match-winning try from a Dave Taylor pass.

    The win snapped the Green Machine’s four-game losing streak and prevented a fourth golden point defeat of the season.

    “It’s been a real struggle getting these boys up after the way we lost to Penrith,” Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said.

    “The last three or four weeks it’s been really, really hard. A real big job.

    “Luck plays a massive role in golden point. It just hasn’t been rolling our way at times.”

    Both teams have injury concerns out of the match and Raiders forward Josh Papalii could face a suspension for a shoulder charge.

    Dragons forward Russell Packer left the field early with a suspected hip injury and couldn’t return despite a pain-killing injection.

    Raiders bench forward Luke Bateman will be assessed for a broken cheekbone after a head clash with Kurt Mann who returned after the incident.

    A knee injury ended Canberra prop Shannon Boyd’s night.

    Papalii was lucky not have been sent to the sin bin for a heavy shoulder charge on Josh Dugan which ended the former Raider’s night.

    With Dugan being helped from the ground, Sezer intercepted a Gareth Widdop pass and ran almost the length of the field to score a brilliant solo try on the hour mark.

    Canberra captain Jarrod Croker adding the extra points to make it 12-12.

    Croker put the Raiders in front with a little more than 15 minutes remaining, slotting a penalty goal from 29m out on a tough angle.

    Then Widdop levelled the scores at 14-14 with his second penalty goal five minutes later to set up a dramatic finish.

    But the Dragons skipper missed two field goal attempts in the dying minutes, while Sezer and Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin were also astray with their efforts to secure a one-pointer.

    St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor was happy with his side’s performance, despite the cruel result.

    “I thought it was a really big step forward on how we’ve been playing to how we’ve played tonight,” McGregor said.

    “If we play like that we win most of our games throughout the rest of the year.”

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • Roar Guru

      July 15th 2017 @ 8:51am
      M.O.C. said | July 15th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      This game was again decided by referee indecision regarding the Papali shoulder charge. With 20 to go in a tight game a sin-binning or send-off would have sealed it for the Dragons but referee cowardice gave a penalty only. The refs are paralysed by not wanting to influence games but are ironically influencing games by indecision. There is no way Papali will not be suspended for his 2nd man-in, purposeful shoulder-charge to the head which resulted in a player being ruled out of the rest of the game. His punishment…a penalty. The same penalty as when a winger played the ball facing the sideline…

      For transparency, I am not a Raiders or Dragons fan, I support QLD and not NSW and I like Papali and don’t like Dugan, so my rant is not motivated by a one-eyed view. This lack of acton for a clearly illegal play just shows exactly what it going wrong the the NRL at the moment – the refs pick and choose which rules to use in order to avoid scrutiny.

      The most surprising thing is however that it seems we are so used to this lack of refereeing, even Dragons supporters don’t seem to be that upset!

      • July 15th 2017 @ 9:23am
        Oingo Boingo said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Just another case of “refereephobia”on your part MOC .
        These guys are above criticism, and quite rightly should be able to misinterpret the rules any way they see fit , especially if it creates a more even contest.

        • July 15th 2017 @ 9:35am
          Albo said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          It is the inconsistency around sin binning or lack of its use that is the frustrating issue for fans, and it was right on display with the two matches last night. In the first game we see Panthers Harairra-Naera sin binned for 10 after a “milked” off side penalty by Luke and it cost the Panthers 2 tries against them in that period. Whilst we later see Papalli take out Dugan for the night with a shoulder charge and we see a penalty only on St George’s own line? No real penalty for that foul & dangerous play ?

      • Roar Guru

        July 15th 2017 @ 9:30am
        Dutski said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        If it had have been a Dragons player who laid that hit the crowd would have been rightly calling for a send off.
        I thought he should have been marched. If an illegal tackle that hits a bloke high and irons him out isn’t worth a send off then what is?

        • Roar Guru

          July 15th 2017 @ 10:15am
          M.O.C. said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          As I wrote on the blog last night, in the union, SBW is sent off on the 20th minute for an illegal shoulder charge to the head – the first All Black to be sent off in 50 years, and in a test match no less – the ref showed balls of steel and the players and crowd respected it as it was the right call. In the league, the same thing happens and basically nothing. The NRLs apparent stance on head injury is a complete farce and they show no respect to the game by their indecision. The current refs are gutless and demand absolutely no respect from players and fans. The refs should be charged with “bringing the game into disrepute”.

    • July 15th 2017 @ 8:55am
      Swannies said | July 15th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Ricky will be stoked that his team finally won in golden point. More important than the win was the brilliant kick by Sezer under pressure to set up the field position to clinch the game…shades of Stuart in the earlier 90s. If Sezer can consistently produce these quality plays and Raiders improve their kicking in general play they will be a force again in 2018.

      • July 15th 2017 @ 9:41am
        Albo said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Yep ! the luck “swings & roundabouts” throughout the season were well on display here. After having little good fortune for much of the year the Raiders copped a good share of it last night with the non-binning of Papalli, the Sezer intercept off his own line to score and the right ball bounces for the 40/20 in golden point. That’s footy !

      • July 15th 2017 @ 12:16pm
        kk said | July 15th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        If Sezer was a racehorse his 2017 form would read 19 starts 1 win @100/1 after 18 unplaced

        The Vikings , more than any other team this season,have amplified the superficial substance
        of the Corporate’s slogan “Gamble responsibly” It’s hard to catch a Viking.

    • July 15th 2017 @ 2:27pm
      Beavis said | July 15th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

      Ropanas alleged grounding wasn’t reviewed which would have given a try to Saints at 59 min and out them 2 scores in front and then bizarrely Saints were given a high tackle penalty for nothing at 12-14 at 70 min as they looked likely to score. Is it compulsory to have golden point at Canberra games for Nine FTA TV game. Wheres Vince Mcmahon?.

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