Canberra smash North Qld - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra smash North Qld

By Bonny Symons-Brown 28/08/2010 10:23:18 PM Comments (0)

Canberra's NRL finals hopes remain in their own hands after the Raiders scored an impressive 48-4 win over hapless North Queensland in their penultimate regular season clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

The in-form Raiders piled on nine tries before the forgettable Cowboys answered back, catapulting the home side back into eighth spot on the ladder and just a win away from a spot in the last eight.

Victory against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium next weekend will ensure the Raiders qualify for the finals regardless of other results.

Late call-up Reece Robinson, who replaced the injured Adam Mogg, was magnificent in scoring four tries while prodigious fullback Josh Dugan also scored a double in the must-win match.

Robinson was the first to find the line in the fourth minute, before diving over again in the 22nd, 62nd and 79th minutes to cap a memorable match.

Dugan, who supported Robinson's second effort, scored his own four-pointer in the 17th minute despite carrying a collection of North Queensland players on his back.

He found the line just before halftime too, giving Canberra a virtually unassailable 28-0 lead after 40 minutes.

In a stellar team effort, Canberra utility Glen Buttriss chipped in with a try in the 35th minute, after being given the benefit of the doubt by the video referee.

Halfback Josh McCrone and prop David Shillington did their bit, with four-pointers in the 51st and 68th minutes.

The only Cowboy to find the line was winger Michael Bani, five minutes before fulltime.

Canberra coach David Furner said the players went into the game confident.

"We did have some milestones, 200 games there for (co-captain Alan Tongue), we had some guys that were leaving, we had our last home game and a must-win game," he told reporters.

"You could just tell during the week that the players were looking forward to the game."

Taking the sheen off the win, however, was second-rower Joe Picker's elbow injury, while Tongue badly hurt his calf.

Furner said it could see the veteran hooker sidelined for the rest of the 2010 season.

"The extent of it I'm not sure, but I believe it is a torn calf," he said.

"I'd definitely say he is in doubt for this coming Friday (against Brisbane).

"He leads by example, so it would be a big loss for Tonguey and the team."

A very humble Robinson said it was an exciting match for him.

"I think I was just on the end of things, I just popped up when I had to pop up really," he said, adding he hoped to make many more first-grade appearances for the green machine.

North Queensland coach Neil Henry described the clash as a "comprehensive beating."

"It has been a tough year," he said.

"We're disappointed that we couldn't defend with a lot more intensity and they rolled through us and we couldn't stop the points."

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