2001: ROUND 15

vs Canberra

Match Details
Match Date 2nd Jun, 2001
Opponent Canberra
Result Loss
Coach Steven Folkes
Captain Darren Britt
Venue Sydney Showground Homebush
Crowd 8,155
Referee Mark Oaten

Canberra travelled to the Sydney Showground on Saturday night, down on their luck after having lost all their games by twelve points or less and were trying to prove to the rugby league faithful they were not a spent force in this years competition. How right they were.

The Raiders entered the game as rank outsiders against a Bulldogs side who were sitting comfortably in the the top four and were looking to improve their position on the ladder with a win over the notorious bad travellers from the nations capital. That proved to be wishful thinking.

Canberra, came ready to play their more fancied rival and reaped the rewards for an outstanding effort, which displayed determination, skill and tenacity. The Raiders had most of their stars out through injury including Croker, Davico, Payten, Lolesi, Vainikolo and Collella and called upon youngsters Darren Mapp, Ryan O'Hara and twenty eight year debutant Darren Porter to fill the void left by the injured stars. To make matters worse Canberra lost prop Michael Hodgson and Andrew McFadden for the season with a knee injury and compound fracture respectively.

Canberra, led by veteran forward Rubin Wiki and the halves pairing of Brett Finch and Mark McLinden provided the guidance and skill to topple the Bulldogs in a game where defence would be the key. Canberra barely missed a tackle in the first half which helped ignite their underrated attack and saw the Raiders jump out to a twenty nil lead at the break.

All Canberra fans would have felt a nervous optimism going into the second half as the Raiders had been run down in so many games this year and a scoreline of that magnitude would not seem unreachable if the Raiders had let their second half jitters come back to haunt them. Much to my surprise the team kicked on to record a thirty two nil victory and have been the only side to keep the opposition scoreless this season and finished the game with fifteen men without having had their line crossed.

Canberra were excellent in both attack and defence and the Bulldogs, well, the less said about them the better and it would take the shine of a marvellous victory for the rejuvinated green machine. Canberra showed that self belief is a powerful ally and if harnassed correctly, showed what can happen when you play as a team. This win was only a small step for the Raiders in the season, but was a huge leap for the team as far as the future goes and Matt Elliot has a lot to look forward to in the coming years with the talent at his disposal. A couple of quality outside backs would surley catapault the Raiders up as contenders once more.

A special mention to Mark McLinden, who was selected on the bench for the country side for this Fridays match. His last three matches have been outstanding and he is starting to live up to his potential as one of the premier pivots in the game.

Source: www.rleague.com

Player Position Tries Goals F Goals Points
Luke Patten Fullback 0 0 0 0
Hazem El Masri Wing 0 0 0 0
Brett Howland Wing 0 0 0 0
Nigel Vagana Centre 0 0 0 0
Willie Talau Centre 0 0 0 0
Brent Sherwin Five Eighth 0 0 0 0
Corey Hughes Half Back 0 0 0 0
Glen Hughes Lock 0 0 0 0
Jamie Feeney Second Row 0 0 0 0
Darren Smith Second Row 0 0 0 0
Barry Ward Front Row 0 0 0 0
Darren Britt Front Row 0 0 0 0
Craig Polla-Mounter Hooker 0 0 0 0
Willie Mason Replacement 0 0 0 0
Steve Reardon Replacement 0 0 0 0
Royce Simms Replacement 0 0 0 0
Paul Rauhihi Replacement 0 0 0 0
Total: 0 0 0 0