Mixed results for Raiders and Bulldogs
It was a mixed day at the Belmore Sports Ground for the Raiders’ junior representative sides last Saturday afternoon. The S.G. Ball side managed to register their first win of the season with a 36-10 win over their counterparts from Canterbury-Bankstown, but unfortunately the Harold Matthews side went down 32-18.
This was a game that the Raiders boys would feel especially disappointed to lose, as ultimately if it wasn’t for momentary lapses in concentration at crucial times they probably would have won.
An example of this occurred in the 13th minute when centre Jack Williams knocked on a perfectly weighed Jack Hickson chip in the Bulldogs in goal area.
That being said, the Raiders were the first to open the scoring in the 16th minute of play, after front rower Tyrell Lomax barged his way over the try line despite the attention of three Bulldogs defenders. Winger Mun Mapiou nailed the touch line conversion putting the Raiders ahead 6-0.
The Bulldogs opened their account 4 minutes later, when some brittle defence up the middle allowed interchange forward Willie Saloa to score under the posts. Fullback Esau Taetuli got the conversion and the scores were even.
After experiencing a glut of possession for the remainder of the half, Canterbury managed to cross again through centre Hakaraia Toi Toi and the Raiders went into half time trailing the opposition 12-6.
The Raiders looked impressive during the early stages of the second half scoring two tries in quick succession. The first was through classy centre Lachlan Croker, who scored off a bomb from five-eighth Peter DeMamiel and the second through backrower Daniel Dole. Chris Hart converted both tries and with twenty minutes left the Raiders led the Bulldogs 18-12.
However, from that point onwards the Raiders seemed to lose their way. Poor handling and a disappointing defensive effort gifted Canterbury a glut of possession and ultimately allowed them to win the match through three quick tries in the last 15 minutes.
The opening 15 minutes of the match were competitive if not a little scrappy, with both sides squandering early opportunities to score through poor handling, however, the Dogs were the first on the board when hooker Luke Vella crossed from dummy half in the 17th minute.
Trailing 6-0, the Raiders struck back in the24th minute after a superb cross field kick from five eighth Carl Johnson was plucked from their air by Siaosi Pohahau who promptly offloaded for centre Brenko Lee to score adjacent to the posts. Halfback Anthony Milford converted, and the scores were level.
The Raiders then went ahead three minutes later after a scintillating solo try from Milton, who sliced his way through the Bulldogs defence with a couple of well timed dummies before sprinting 50 metres to score. However, The Bulldogs managed to level the scores in the 32nd minute after Vella scored again from dummy half and both teams entered the sheds with the score locked at 10 all.
The game was won in the second half, during which the Raiders began to emphasise their superiority in both attack and defence, scoring 22 unanswered points as well as repelling multiple attack raids close to their goal line.
Back rower Patrick Mago opened the scoring seven minutes after the resumption of play, touching down after bulldozing his way through two Bulldogs defenders close to the line. This was followed by a brace of tries to second rower Scott Doyle who scored in the 46th and 48th minutes, the second try coming off the back of some great build up play from Milford, Josh Baker and Jarred McIlwrick.
When Milford scored his second try in the 53rd minute, the score was 32-10 and the Raiders had the game won.
Canterbury’s only try of the second half came with seventh minutes left on the clock, after prop Jake Kamire took an intercept deep inside the Raiders half and scored under the posts.
However, the Raiders responded 6 minutes later when Lee crossed out wide to cap off an impressive victory for the Green Machine.
Coach Peter Marrapodi was very pleased with the win, “I was very impressed with our improved attitude in defence,” Marrapodi said.
Marrapodi was also praised the efforts of front rower and captain Hayden Pengelly, “He led the team well and displayed a phenomenal work rate in attack and defence.”