The Raiders’ 37-8 victory was their biggest ever win over St George-Illawarra, but more importantly revived their top-four hopes. With two games remaining the Green Machine trail the third-placed Eels by a game, and now have a superior for and against.
The first-half was tight, Canberra’s crash and bash assault up the middle contrasting St George-Illawarra’s instinctive play, but both came up with two tries apiece over the opening 40 minutes.
Debutant Cody Ramsey put on a show for his 50 plus family and friends in attendance, reducing his mother to tears with a brilliant first-half double.
Ramsey ended the Dragons two-year first-half points drought against the Raiders, springing out of Semi Valemei’s grasp and into the right corner with his very first touch.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: J-Moz celebrates 300th in style with exhilarating win over Raiders
Valemei’s suffocating pressure on Lomax forced a turnover and instant Canberra reply, paving the way for Hudson Young to bully his way over the stripe.
After Nick Cotric produced a magical intercept – knocking Dufty’s pass well in front of him then taking a diving catch to keep it alive – the cruelest of bounces left Jordan Pereira dumbfounded to extend the Raiders’ lead, the Steeden having found its way to Jack Wighton who was unstoppable from close-range.
Going against the grain, St George-Illawarra retaliated through Ramsey. A floater from Matt Dufty lured Valemei into no-mans land and opened the door for the first-gamer to complete the spectacular first-half double.
What a half from Ramsey!
Ramsey nearly produced an eye-catching hattrick, but an offside ruling denied him having run the length of the field, and allowed Croker to add two more points for the Raiders.
After withstanding a strong few minutes from the Red V, Canberra flicked a switch and went up a gear, turning a potential nail-biter into a serious blowout.
Short passing picked apart the Dragons middle and right side defence with concerning ease, exposing just how much work incoming coach Anthony Griffin has to do.
Elliott Whitehead’s deft grubber put the first second-half points on a platter for Jarrod Croker.
Young – who was exceptional with 196 run metres, two line-breaks, one try, and one try assist – burst through the line and set up his inside man in John Bateman.
Hudson Young put on a clinic
A George Williams double-pump allowed Wighton to ease his way to the in-goal, some quick hands put Valemei over in the left corner soon after.
If it couldn’t get any worse for the Dragons, Williams took the chance to get some field-goal practice and extended the lead to 21 points, icing the cake on a stellar Raiders display in Wollongong.