Canberra down Eels for much-needed NRL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra down Eels for much-needed NRL win

25/06/2011 11:15:49 PM Comments (0)

Canberra returned to form and helped their faint NRL finals hopes with a 25-12 win over Parramatta at a near-freezing Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

After an impressive first-half performance, Canberra led 14-0 at the break and achieved what they hadn't in recent matches, finishing off the job - despite the Eels threatening a comeback.

The Raiders' young halves ran the show, with Sam Williams scoring two tries and Josh McCrone capping a strong performance with a bizarre 73rd-minute field goal that deflected off Parramatta's Casey McGuire.

The win keeps Canberra second last ahead of Gold Coast, but they move within four points of the top eight.

The victory came at a cost, though, with prop David Shillington believed to have suffered a recurrence of a pectoral injury.

Shillington had been hoping to put in a good performance before the Queensland squad is named for the third Origin match.

After the video referee disallowed an early try in the corner to centre Joel Thompson, Williams opened the scoring as he stepped several times to score under the posts in the 20th minute.

Just five minutes later, McCrone ran 25 metres from a scrum to score a great individual try.

A penalty goal from Jarrod Croker in the 32nd minute extended the Raiders' lead and they went into the sheds with a comfortable lead.

Parramatta were starved of possession and looking lethargic but improved after the break.

Hooker Matt Keating took advantage of some sleepy defence to score under the posts and breathe life into the match but Canberra's rookie fullback Nathan Massey responded when he scored after another great run by McCrone.

The Eels were able to narrow the gap to six points when Ben Smith crashed over in the 65th minute.

But the closest thing to an own goal in rugby league allowed the Raiders to take control.

McCrone's wobbly drop kick cannoned off McGuire and snuck over the crossbar to give the home side a seven-point buffer.

Williams then sealed the result with some individual brilliance, charging down a Jarryd Hayne punt and kicking twice for himself to score.

Parramatta centre Ryan Morgan left the field in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return.

A pleased Canberra coach David Furner said it was his team's most controlled 80-minute performance of the season.

"When we got down their end we didn't try to score off every play," Furner told reporters.

"We tried to take the energy out of Parramatta and do that through repeat sets and control of the ball."

Furner said the Raiders stuck to their game plan and ensured they did not give opportunities to Hayne.

"I thought defensively we looked solid all game," he said.

He was particularly happy with McCrone, who he said was forming a fine combination with Williams in the halves.

Dejected Eels mentor Steven Kearney rued his side's first-half showing.

"They just out-enthused us right from the start and we really couldn't get ourselves back into it," Kearney said.

He lamented that by the time his team was able to respond it was too late.

"I thought the damage had been done (in the first half)," he said.

The Eels have secured just one competition point from their past four games while the Raiders will need to repeat the performance if they are to be any chance of reviving their finals aspirations.

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