Sport Rugby League NRL: Storm shocked as Raiders compete huge comeback

NRL: Storm shocked as Raiders compete huge comeback

Triumphant: The Canberra Raiders are on a roll. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty
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Canberra has piled on 22 unanswered points and overcome two sin-bins to shock Melbourne 22-18 in their NRL clash at AAMI Park.

Leading 18-0 Melbourne looked like they would continue the march towards the minor premiership but Raiders prop Josh Papalii crashed over in the 76th minute to steal the match, 22-18.

The Raiders not only had to overcome the huge deficit but also the sin-binning of two players in the first half which looked like it would prove the difference in the match.

Canberra lost five-eighth Jack Wighton in the third minute after he tackled Jahrome Hughes from an offside position as he tried to take a quick tap.

Two minutes later, the Storm scored when centre Justin Olam collected a Cameron Munster kick.

Wighton had only been back two minutes when Canberra lock Joe Tapine was given a 10 minute break after lashing out at Nelson Asofa-Solomona in a scuffle.

Tapine’s night ended soon after halftime when he headed to the bench with what appeared to be a rib injury.

Like clockwork, the Storm were in for their third try of the night, taking advantage of the overlap with Olam flicking a pass on to Josh Addo-Carr.

That soon became 18-0 through Suliasi Vunivalu and it looked like the competition frontrunners would romp home.

But third-placed Canberra showed why they are genuine premiership contenders with a spirited fightback.

Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker collected a double and then winger Jordan Rapana dived over in the corner in the 70th minute to put his team within two points.

Despite playing with 12 men for 20 minutes, it was the Raiders who kept coming – and Papalii couldn’t be stopped when he made a charge to the line from seven metres out.