Full Time
7:30pm Sat July 14, 2018
Round 18 - GIO Stadium Canberra - Crowd: 11471

Match Overview

Canberra has kept their slim finals hopes alive, while extinguishing any chance the Cowboys had, courtesy of a 20 minute blitz at the end of the game to down their opponents 38-12.

The Raiders got on the board very early on when Rapana scored a spectacular try in the third minute. A crossfield kick from Williams found Rapana, who leaped to take the catch, then hopped and spun to score despite Winterstein holding onto his leg. Croker was unable to convert from out wide.

The Raiders scored again in the tenth minute after a great draw and pass by Croker, who was playing on one leg, sent Oldfield over for a try. Sezer's sideline conversion was waved away.

Ten minutes later and the Cowboys hit back after some nice straight running and some short and late passing, which saw Thurston turn Martin back inside. He then linked with Coote who went over for the try. Thurston converted to cut the margin down to 2.

Just on half an hour and Canberra captain Jarrod Croker came from the field with a recurring knee injury. Blake Austin came on and had an immediate impact.

Hodgson put in another grubber, which was being shepherded dead by Feldt, only for Austin to come from nowhere to ground the ball just inches before the dead ball line for a great try. Sezer converts.

Two minutes later Thurston put in a little grubber and Cooper cleaned it up then dived over for a try. Thurston then converted, to give the Raiders a 14-12 lead at the break.

The Cowboys twice turned down opportunities to kick a penalty goal in the second half and on both occasions their raids were defended successfully by the Raiders.

With 16 minutes left in the half, the Raiders unleashed. Sam Williams put in a grubber which bounced horribly for Coote. As Coote dived to clean up the ball, it bounced up and out of his grasp. Oldfield running through grounded the ball for the try. Sezer converted.

Five minutes later and the Cowboys were on the attack near the Raiders line. Asiata put in a good run with a dummy and a step before passing to Linnett, who was looking right at him, yet still dropped the ball cold. From the scrum, Oldfield received the ball and then ran straight through a feeble tackle attempt by Bolton and ran 80 metres to score under the posts. Sezer added the extras.

Two minutes later they were in again, thanks to yet another Sezer grubber. Winterstein went back to clean up and had a complete air swing. Rapana followed through and cleaned up to score an easy try. Sezer again converted.

Just as the match was winding down, Rapana made a break. On the next play, with the Cowboys players struggling to get onside, Williams passed inside to Sezer who scored under the posts before converting. The Raiders scoring 24 unanswered points in 16 minutes to run away with a convincing 38-12 victory.

Next weekend the Raiders head to the Shire for a clash with Cronulla, while the Cowboys head home to host the Dragons.

3. Josh Papali'i

Papalii was a beast with the ball in hand for every minute he was on the field. Powerful performance.

2. Aidan Sezer

Sezer's kicking game was absolutely spot on all match, constantly keeping pressure on the Cowboys defence and eventually cracking it wide open in the late stages of the match.

1. Josh Hodgson

Hodgson was at his scheming best, while also getting his forwards rolling with great momentum all game. His short kicking game was also a huge threat.