Orford under pressure to retain his spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Orford under pressure to retain his spot

Matthew Sadler 02/04/2011 10:48:30 PM Comments (0)

For the third week in a row Canberra halfback Matt Orford has failed to fire.

And for the third week the Raiders have lost.

A Canberra victory appeared certain against the Titans - until Orford knocked on.

The Titans then took control of the game and won in golden-point extra time.

Raiders coach David Furner would not comment when asked if Orford's position was under threat from young halfback Sam Williams.

"I'm not going to answer that tonight ... I'll assess that," Furner told reporters after the game.

Orford's kicking game was awful. The ball frequently missed its mark and at times lacked depth.

"I thought a couple of times there, especially when we needed some high kicks, we needed to drive the ball a little bit further down," Furner said in obvious reference to his halfback.

Furner said Orford was fully fit, having completely recovered from a groin strain.

Williams had the game of his life in round one, albeit against a hapless Cronulla side.

He's been back in the Toyota Cup under-20s side since then, but must surely be in consideration for a return to first grade next week.

Furner wants to watch the Titans game again before making a decision on whether to make a change.

Raiders co-captain David Shillington was also aware that Orford's mistake got the Titans back into the game.

"We gave them the opportunities too much and hopefully we'll learn from that," Shillington said.

Orford was one of the club's star signings for 2011.

He seemed the perfect choice with classy five-eighth Terry Campese missing the first few months of this year following knee surgery.

It was thought Orford's experience would complement the youthful halves the Raiders have in Josh McCrone and Williams.

A former Dally M winner, he won a premiership with Manly in 2008.

Time and time again he proved a match winner for the Sea Eagles.

But he had an unhappy year with English Super League club Bradford in 2010, playing just 12 games before his season was cut short through injury.

Now his inability to take control of the Titans match and his failure to get the basics right has him under pressure to retain his No.7 jumper for Canberra's next clash with Penrith.

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