Raiders end Dragons party with 19-12 win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders end Dragons party with 19-12 win

13/07/2008 04:00:08 PM Comments (0)

Canberra winger Adrian Purtell scored a double as the Raiders stunned St George Illawarra with a 19-12 NRL victory at WIN Stadium.

The Raiders gatecrashed what Dragons fans were hoping would be a club record equalling eighth successive win by racing to a 14-0 half time lead despite running into a stiff breeze.

They extended their lead to 18 points just two minutes after the break and it proved a match-winning buffer as Canberra ran out four tries to two victors in front of 14,040 fans.

Canberra halfback Todd Carney sealed the result with a 28m field goal in the 71st minute to push their advantage beyond two converted tries.

Dragons fullback Brett Morris added a consolation try in the final minute after superb lead up work by skipper Mark Gasnier.

It is just Canberra's third win from their last 16 away games and it ends the Dragons mid season surge of a seven match winning streak.

Purtell scored his two tries either side of half time and could have easily claimed a hat trick but was denied by video referee Graeme West who ruled his knee hit the ground simultaneously as he grounded the ball in the right corner in the 37th minute.

His first try came in the 24th minute when he carried Jason Nightingale and Josh Morris across the line for a 14-0 lead.

Then two minutes after the break he completed a superb piece of rebound play from the Raiders when fullback David Milne raced 40m after Ben Hornby's fumble to pass to forward Trevor Thurling who then drew two defenders to put Purtell into open space.

Canberra were in complete control until a controversial penalty by referee Tony De Las Heras against Todd Carney for walking off the mark to play the ball on his own 10m line gave the Dragons a sniff.

The red and whites seized the moment with Rangi Chase's grubber pounced on by Josh Morris in the 51st minute, although it was a benefit of the doubt try decision by the video referee as the ball appeared to contact Nightingale.

While the try seemed to swing the momentum to the home side, the Dragons could not convert any opportunities as the Raiders defence held strong.

It was an emphatic performance by the Raiders and it started early when winger Colin Best scored a brilliant solo try in the 13th minute.

Best got on the outside of Matt Cooper, sprinted around Mark Gasnier, then fended away Jamie Soward and beat covering fullback Brett Morris to complete a 70m try.

Five minutes later Dane Tilse barged his way over from 10m out after a superb offload from Glen Turner to extend Canberra's advantage out to 10-0 in the worst opening quarter of a game for the Dragons since round one.

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