Green Ma­chine back in the race

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - CHRIS­TIAN NICOLUSSI RAIDERS DRAG­ONS CAN­BERRA RAIDERS

EL­LIOTT White­head barged over for a try to give Can­berra their first golden- point win that could reignite their cam­paign that promised so much.

The Raiders had lost three matches this year that went to ex­tra time – and an­other three by six points or less – and there were plenty of nerves when the scores were locked up against St Ge­orge Illawarra.

Those nerves were there to see from both sides af­ter five field- goal at­tempts dur­ing reg­u­la­tion time failed But af­ter a bril­liant Ai­dan Sezer 40/ 20 kick, White­head was able to charge on to a Dave Tay­lor off- load and score next to the posts to give the Green Ma­chine an 18- 14 win.

It sparked wild scenes in the stands where 10,977 fans braved chilly, wet con­di­tions.

The win ended a four­match los­ing streak for Can- berra. A loss would have all but ended their sea­son.

The Drag­ons would have been ex­tra filthy given they fin­ished the match with­out Josh Du­gan who was flat­tened by a bla­tant shoul­der charge. Josh Pa­palii made sure he ironed out Du­gan with his left shoul­der near the hour mark, with the refs agree­ing it was a case of “penalty suf­fi­cient’’.

As Du­gan was forced off to un­dergo a HIA – and was heck­led by his old sup­port­ers – Sezer was able to col­lect an in­ter­cept pass and race 90m to give the home side hope.

The fact Du­gan was ruled out for the game, and Pa­palii wasn’t, will anger the Red V.

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