Raiders stun Dragons in a bruising clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders stun Dragons in a bruising clash

By Bonny Symons-Brown 16/08/2009 11:51:13 AM Comments (0)

Fired-up Canberra managed the upset of the season, coming from 12-0 down to defeat NRL competition leaders St George Illawarra 24-12 in a bruising clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

The Raiders scored three tries to two in what was one of the seasons's most outstanding - and fiery - games of the year.

Despite getting away to an early lead, the Dragons were unable to improve their poor record in Canberra, where they haven't won since 2000.

In a low-scoring first half, Dragons winger Brett Morris scored the only try and five-eighth Jamie Soward extended the visitors' lead to 6-0 with a penalty goal in the 32nd minute.

But while the scoreboard attendant might have been idle, the referees certainly weren't.

The high-intensity clash bubbled over at the 18-minute mark, when a tackle involving Raiders pivot Terry Campese and Dragons second-rower Dean Young escalated into a brawl that saw Young sin-binned for 10 minutes.

Already on thin ice, moments later Campese found himself sent for a spell on the sidelines for arguing with the referee.

Dragons second-rower Jeremy Smith also copped a sin-binning in the 72nd minute for a late shot on a Raiders opponent.

Earlier, a nasty head clash between Raiders lock Josh Miller and Dragons prop Michael Weyman in the 21st minute stopped play as Weyman was knocked senseless and had to be stretchered off against his former club.

St George Illawarra fullback Darius Boyd took his side to a 12-0 lead with a try five minutes after the break, but it would be the last time the Dragons added to their score.

Three minutes later, Canberra's try avalanche began with back-to-back four-pointers to centre Jarrod Croker and winger Daniel Vidot and, five minutes later, prop Dane Tilse.

Campese was in top form with the boot, converting each try and managing three penalty goals in the 62nd, 72nd and 77th minutes.

Campese described the match as one of the best his side had played all year.

"The way our forwards were playing ... there is no greater feeling than playing behind the guys when they're playing so well," he said.

Canberra coach David Furner said positive talk at the club all week had shown on the field.

"We stuck to the plan, we were aggressive, we played some really good footy," he said.

"We didn't talk about bashing them, we just thought that we would need to stop their go-forward.

"They've got some very big boppers in the middle and plus their back three, they can get a lot of momentum, a lot of metres there, so part of our plan was to play them in their half."

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett said his side was out-disciplined by their opponents.

"We were in that for 50-odd minutes and we did everything that was required of us too but 10 minutes of madness ... I thought the two tries back-to-back were the ones that really hurt us," Bennett said.

In the casualty ward, Raiders prop Scott Logan has sustained a suspected fractured cheekbone.

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