Raiders top Sea Eagles in friday night thriller

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Canberra Raiders 21 defeat Manly Sea Eagles 20.

Match Review:
This game was one game i was quite excited the review. Both these teams have had a better turn around in form to make a real push for the top 8. The game started with quite a high intensity attitude from both teams, and the opening 15 minutes was not a let down.

The scoring opened through a penalty goal for the Raiders, however that was quickly overshadowed when Manly went over for their first try of the game. Trent Hodkinson looked to be enjoying his move back to Manly when he helped captain Daly Cherry-Evans over for the opening try. It was quite an odd try, with the Raiders defence showing a lack of communication and allowing Cherry-Evans to jog through the line untouched to score the try.

Just a few sets later and the momentum completely with the Sea Eagles, the attack was proving to much for the Raiders defence. A forced goal line drop out seemed to be a problem for the Raiders when they failed to get the kick off before the shot clock sounded, awarding Manly a penalty goal from in front. Once again it was only a few sets later before Manly were on the attack again, and just like before, a lack of communication in the Canberra defence saw Manly forward Joel Thompson jog through also untouched off a Tom Trbojevic short ball to get a try against his old club.

Canberra was finally able to turn it all around when on their first attacking set, a brilliant through the hands play sent young 19 year old winger Nick Cotric over in the corner, a try to help push his NSW Origin case. Was only a few minutes later when the Raiders pulled off an identical try to close in on the Manly lead. A knock on gave Canberra excellent field position, and off that the Raiders went through the hands again to send young Cotric over for a quick double. The final 10 odd minutes evolved into a real back and forth fight, with only a Canberra penalty goal to be had. Manly took the 14-12 lead into the sheds.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was a continuation of the final 10 of the first half, a real grind. It was full of pure aggression and a serious back and forth wrestle. both teams slotted a penalty goal in that time, and with Manly holding only a 2 point lead, it was getting intense. A sin binning to Trent Hodkinson in the 58th minute really helped lift the Raiders attitude, but it was Manly who were next to score, as young centre Brian Kelly strolled through the line to extend the Manly lead while being short handed.

Only 6 points down and a comeback still in play, it seemed as though Canberra just didn't want to win this game. with 10 minutes to go, the Raiders then spent the next 5 minutes giving Manly shot  after shot on the Raiders line. An incredible 6 turnovers in a row in that period had everyone writing Canberra off, but just like the Raiders do, a miracle try with 4 minutes remaining tied the game. A beautiful through the hands play sent Nick Cotric flying down the sideline, and as the defence closed in, he chipped it over the top for fullback Jack Wighton to catch and put down.

With only 90 seconds remaining and the game tied, Manly's fullback had an absolute shocker. instead of letting the ball go over the sideline, he tried to pick it up allowing Cotric to take him over the sideline and give the Raiders one last shot on the Manly line. In Canberra fashion, like many times before, the Raiders stole the 2 competition points in the dying seconds when really quite undeserving. An Aiden Sezer field goal sealed the comeback and the win for Canberra in an absolute thriller.

Stonecold's Player Of The Game: Nick Cotric (Raiders)

Canberra Raiders:
3' Jarrod Croker (Penalty Goal)
22' Nick Cotric (Try)
27' Nick Cotric (Try)
40' Jarrod Croker (Penalty Goal)
46' Jarrod Croker (Penalty Goal)
76' Jack Wighton (Try)
77' Jarrod Croker (Conversion)
80' Aiden Sezer (Field Goal)

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles:
7' Daly Cherry-Evans (Try)
9' Trent Hodkinson (Conversion)
13' Trent Hodkinson (Penalty Goal)
18' Joel Thompson (Try)
19' Trent Hodkinson (Conversion)
50' Trent Hodkinson (Penalty Goal)
63' Brian Kelly (Try)



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