Canberra Raiders Steal Last Minute Win

Hat Tricks and Last Minute Match Steals

This match up between the Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders was played at Belmore Oval the spiritual home of the Bulldogs. Conditions were great, a touch cold, but dry underfoot making for a great game. This is the 100th NRL game for Junior Paulo coming on 10min left in the half.

Not long after kick off, Sam Williams kicked the ball out on the full after a 40/20 attempt the Bulldogs had great field position but failed to take advantage early on.

In the 9th minute Jeremy Marshall King strolls in after backing himself to run off the base of the scrum, converted by Rhyse Martin (Bulldog 6, Raiders 0)

The raiders then attempted to reduce Hopoate kick return impact by repeatedly grubbering for touch
This meant the game became quite structured and a real arm wrestle with both sides completing well. Sam Williams finding touch again providing more structure over Blake Austin's fullback style of play.

After a penalty gets the Bulldogs to the halfway mark, they end up so close to try on one wing, then Hopoate is held up over the line in the next play. The dogs muscle up trying to pin the raiders down, pushing them back in defense.

From a great pass from Aiden Sezer allows Jarrod Croker to show great speed down the side, passing to Sam Williams for the try. Converted Jarrod Croker (Bulldogs 6, Raiders 6)

Jo Tapine put on report for a dangerous position tackle leads to a Rhys Martin penalty goal (Bulldogs 8 - Raiders 6)

The Raiders end up peppering the Bulldogs defense after a penalty against the Bulldogs. Shifting from right to left the raiders get the ball to Jarrod Croker who runs in for another Try. Holland having shoulder injury putting him in two minds defensively letting Jarrod Croker in. Croker missed the conversion leaving it at (Bulldogs 8, Raiders 10)

Just when it looked like they were looking likely to score, a forward pass right in front of the sticks relieved the pressure and the Raiders were able to march up-field. then a small chip from Aiden Sezer was just caught by Hopoate before being crunched by chasing Sezer. It's a really tight game with missed opportunities for the Dogs. Josh Hodgson making a big difference in the raiders side, providing Aiden Sezer the time he needs to move the ball to the backs.

It was a great start to the second half by the Bulldogs. A beautiful short pass at the defensive line leads to Rhyse Martin barging his way over for a Try. Converted by Martin (Bulldogs 14, Raiders 10)

A strong bumping run from Nick Cotric gets him across the line. Croker slips and misses the kick (Bulldogs 14, Raiders14)

After a milking attempt from Joey Leilua backfires, some back chat gives the Bulldogs a free pass up-field. The set ends with great bomb from Lewis a bat back off Brett Morris and a double for Rhyse Martin, who converts his own try. (Bulldogs 20,  Raiders 14)

Canterbury are well on top. Josh Morris with a deft flick pass to Martin down the short side and that makes it a hat trick for Rhyse Martin tonight.(Bulldogs 26, Canberra 14)

Blake Austin had immediate impact as soon as he got on the field almost creating a try for Tapine to get held up, so close. The next play simple drop ball relieving the pressue on the Bulldogs

A string of errors and penalties on both sides lead to big swings in field position, but the dogs look the most likely to score with forays down the short side. The see saw continues  after a forward pass to the Morris twins from Markshall-King gives control back only for Leilua to push a pass, handing the ball back to the Bulldogs.

From there the Bulldogs end up camped down in the raiders red zone, ending in a penalty goal for Rhyse Martin (Bulldogs 28, Raiders 14)

The Raiders then hit back off the back of a penalty inside 10m of the Bulldogs line, Blake Austin steps and straight into score a try, croker converted (Bulldogs 28, Raiders 20) The raiders then come back down the field, with Blake Austin's acceleration almost getting them across the line again. Abbey couldn't break his fall while being tackled and his head hit the ground badly with game stopped and him being carried off the field

A late charge by the Raiders lead by a series of lightning strikes from Blake Austin help Joseph Tapine to push through to score a try after a series of passes from Aiden Sezer and Blake Austin. (Bulldogs 28. Raiders 26)

In the dying minutes you could feel the pressure building up and the Raiders snatched victory from certain defeat with Joey Leilua scoring in the far corner.  (Bulldogs 28, Raiders 32)

Players of the Match.. Blake Austin for his massive impact in the last 15mins, having a hand in everything, running, passing and even scoring a try. For Canterbury, Rhyse Martin had a blinder with a hat trick and his conversions tonight passing Hasim El Masri's personal point scoring record against the Raiders. Finally the Raiders played an 80minute game, even scoring on the last minute really showing they can stay in the game to the end.


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