Sport Rugby League NRL: Raiders soccer tactics prove fruitful against Tigers

NRL: Raiders soccer tactics prove fruitful against Tigers

Tiger David Nofoaluma is smashed by the Raiders. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Canberra has taken its English invasion to a new level after putting on a remarkable soccer display in a 28-0 shutout of the Wests Tigers.

The Raiders made a mockery of the wet conditions at Bankwest Stadium by setting up three first half tries off the boot, including two impressive flick-ons.

The 12,585 crowd was treated to an early highlight on Friday when Elliott Whitehead toed a Jarrod Croker pass for Bailey Simonsson to draw first blood.

But the Englishman was outdone by winger Nick Cotric, who brought out his Serbian blood with his first-touch through-ball for Jordan Rapana to score.

The third was far more traditional, yet still smothered in British tinge.

Star forward John Bateman grubbered ahead for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who gathered and passed back to the English international for an 18-0 halftime lead.

Whitehead also played a hand in Croker’s second-half try, while Aidan Sezer completed the rout with an 80-metre intercept try.

Sezer played halfback in place of the overlooked Sam Williams.

It was arguably the best display of the season from the Raiders, who have notched two in a row and reclaim fourth spot from Newcastle.

The travelling contingent of Canberra fans celebrated the victory by performing their Viking clap in the closing stages.

The Tigers, in contrast, struggled to bare their claws at any point of the contest.

Hosting their first match at the new venue, they failed to adapt to the greasy conditions and were bullied into submission by their more assertive opponents.

Compounding the defeat was a suspected eye injury to veteran Benji Marshall, who failed to emerge after the break, and an ankle issue for Mahe Fonua.

Skipper Moses Mbye started the night in the centres, but was constantly shifted between fullback and five-eighth due to concussion and injury.

His immediate future at Concord is under a cloud after being linked with a move to North Queensland, and the club’s reported pursuit of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Watene-Zelezniak was released by Penrith late on Friday.

Chris Lawrence came through unscathed in his first game of the year, playing 70 minutes after recovering from horrific facial injuries in the pre-season.