Through green eyes 2021

All the news on the Canberra Raiders NRL team, all in one place

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hrundi89
Brett Mullins
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by hrundi89 »

Adam Cook's done well to average 5.
You may remember me from such forum usernames as hrundi99 and... hrundi99.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

hrundi89 wrote: March 18, 2021, 3:15 pm Adam Cook's done well to average 5.
Spreadsheet error, fixed.
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Seiffert82
Mal Meninga
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by Seiffert82 »

I feel particularly bad for Seb Kris to get that try overturned under those circumstances. Very unfortunate.
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BJ
Ruben Wiki
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by BJ »

I’d think I’d like refs to point to a try in the usual fashion if they think it’s a try, but if they’re not sure do the arm pointing upwards try signal.

Video ref then makes a judgment, but the video has to be entirely confident to overrule a normal try award.

I felt the crowd around me last Sunday didn’t react at the usual levels for a Raiders try. There was a lot of confusion on when a try was actually awarded or not.
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Seiffert82
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by Seiffert82 »

Yep, same result without the confusion. Sales of Red Rooster subs or Zinger Boxes or whatever are also maintained.
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BadnMean
Jason Croker
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by BadnMean »

BJ wrote: March 18, 2021, 9:27 pm I’d think I’d like refs to point to a try in the usual fashion if they think it’s a try, but if they’re not sure do the arm pointing upwards try signal.

Video ref then makes a judgment, but the video has to be entirely confident to overrule a normal try award.

I felt the crowd around me last Sunday didn’t react at the usual levels for a Raiders try. There was a lot of confusion on when a try was actually awarded or not.
Sounds reasonable. I think we are all used to the "need strong evidence to overturn" from previous versions of the bunker and cricket.

I wonder if try excitement will come back to normal once people are familiar with the new system.

Previous points about psychologically having something taken away is a far stronger negative than never receiving something in the first place- where the old system was better.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

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Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"We were so professional and disciplined in our first forty minutes. I was really pleased for the players at half time. We played a really strong half of football. But then we turned the football over far too many times, a little bit like Cronulla in the first half, to be honest. It gave us a fair bit of an opportunity with some turnover and then we repaid them the favour.

It can be trying too hard, probably feeling a little bit more comfortable with the control of the football going into collision. We turned over far too much possession. A couple of things went against us in the back end of the second half, and we turned it into a real gritty match. We spoke about it, we prepared for it, and we got what we knew we were going to get. It was never going to be an attractive game. It was just a gritty, **** affair. Tough conditions. It probably hasn't been the most attractive brand of football this week, but I think teams in these conditions will take the two points however they can."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2021 Round 2. Canberra Raiders 12 - Cronulla Sharks 10. A torrent of water has been dumped on Sydney in the past few days. A one in 50 year rain event. The Raiders planned to play conservatively in the wet conditions, to control the football and the territory. That strategy worked beautifully for the first 50 minutes. In the first half, the Raiders completed 23 of 25 sets and produced just three errors. They had 38 tackles in the opposition red zone, the Sharks just five. They had about 60 per cent of both possession and territory. The Raiders led by 12-0 at half time - and they probably deserved to lead by more. But then things came unstuck.



In the second half, the Raiders produced nine errors, and completed just nine of 17 sets. The Sharks had over 60 per cent of possession and nearly 70 per cent of the territory. Talk about a game of two halves. The Raiders were held scoreless in the second half, while the Sharks scored two tries. And it was only the wayward boot of Chad Townsend that was the difference between winning and losing. Townsend failed to convert either of the Sharks' tries, and he missed a crucial penalty goal which could have sent the game into golden point.

In his post game press conference, coach Ricky Stuart spoke about the small moments of the game, moments that turned momentum, moments that were critical to the result.

Sebastian Kris produced the first, mid way through the first half, kicking to the corner and then chasing with Rapana to force a line drop out. He then backed up with a great run to the line on the next set, breaking through two attempted tackles to score a try. Then just before half time, Curtis Scott toed a loose ball ahead and regathered in spectacular fashion given the conditions. It set things in motion for a very good try from Hudson Young, running a good line from inside the 10 metre zone.

There were some ugly moments for the Raiders in the second half. A dropped bomb from Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in the 51st minute led to repeat sets for the Sharks and their first try. Chad Townsend put in a very good grubber behind the Raiders' defensive line, with fullback William Kennedy following the ball for four points.

The Sharks' second try, scored with just seven minutes remaining, was freaky more than anything. It was sent to the bunker as a no try, but I think the on field call was correctly overruled. Townsend put a bomb to the corner for his winger Ronaldo Mulitalo. Simonsson took it just before Mulitalo and the wrestle for the ball saw it knocked back by the Sharks. After that it was pinball and Josh Dugan somehow just grounded it. It had the feel of impending heartbreak for the Raiders. But Townsend missed the two attempts at goal that ensued - and the Raiders held on.

It is difficult to make an assessment of the Raiders' attack, given the conditions and the strategy. They had so many opportunities in the red zone in the first half, but failed to convert. That's been a problem for Canberra for too long. Those frustrating, repeated crash balls. Josh Hodgson overplaying his hand. His combinations with his halves still need a lot of work.

But then we need to remind ourselves of the strategy. The Sharks looked more dangerous in attack, but they were the team making the errors - and failed to score a point in the first forty. In contrast, the Raiders were deliberately conservative in their attack. A few times, they preferred to die with the ball on the last, just short of the try line - rather than risk cheap territory for the Sharks. And even though the Raiders were rocking and reeling at times in the second half - the strategy ultimately worked. It was very ugly at times, but it was a win.

The Raiders forwards won the battle of the packs, but the strength of the bench proved to be the critical difference. Starting players like Hudson Young, Elliott Whitehead and Joe Tapine had great games, but there was no better forward on the park than bench prop Ryan James. If he keeps this form up, he'll be the signing of the season. Ryan Sutton was also very good when brought onto the field.



In the backline, both of the centres were very good. As Ricky Stuart said in his press conference, Curtis Scott is a different player to the one who turned out last year. It is understandable, given the off field issues he faced following his unlawful arrest - and given his injury problems.

"Curtis is a completely different person today than what he was this time last year," Stuart said.

"You have only got to look at him physically. He is mid-90s in body weight now whereas he came back under a fair bit of stress and pressure last year at 89-90-91 kilograms. He plays a physical game and you can’t play at that body weight or the lack of body strength he had so it is good he has put that behind him now."

That's one good comeback story. Sebastian Kris is the other, after he took a year out of the game. Last night, he played better than I've seen him play in first grade. He's now in the right frame of mind, and physically better than ever. He is powerful in his running, confident in his play.

Ricky Stuart says that Jarrod Croker has been given the all clear to return by medical staff - he has done what he needs to in terms of strengthening his shoulder and in terms of conditioning. But if he comes back next week, Seb Kris simply cannot be dropped. I'd put him on the wing in place of Bailey Simonsson. It's not that Simonsson has done an awful lot wrong. It is just that Kris is playing that well.

Stats that mattered?

I've already mentioned the swing in completions, possession and territory - from the first half to the second. Overall, the Sharks ended with a 51 per cent share of possession - and 53 per cent of the territory. The Sharks completed at just 63 per cent and produced 18 errors. That compared to a 76 per cent completion rate for the Raiders - and their 13 errors. But the Sharks still had the better of a number of the attacking statistics. They made more runs (191-171), running metres (1750-1569), post contact metres (684-649), kick return metres (256-150) and metres per set (41-38). The Raiders dominated the line breaks (6-1) and tackle breaks (49-20).

The Raiders produced more kicking metres (607 from 20 kicks, 485 from 21 kicks for the Sharks), but then again, they really had to. Both teams produced three forced line drop outs.

Canberra's discipline was not as good as it could be. They conceded five penalties, to the Sharks' two. The ruck infringement count was low, with the Raiders conceding two, and the Sharks three. There continues to be inconsistency between the referees in how often they call six again.

I haven't mentioned the Raiders' defence yet. There sure are some defensive stats that mattered. Both teams made about 330 tackles. But the Sharks missed a whopping 49 tackles, compared with just 20 for the Raiders. While the Raiders produced slightly more ineffective tackles, they clearly had the better effective tackle rate (91 percent, compared with 85 per cent for the Sharks). And there were some great tackles from the Raiders which forced the Sharks into that big error count.

Memorable moments?

Those few minutes from Seb Kris, his kick ahead, his defensive effort to force a drop out and his subsequent try were the most memorable for me. Not far behind was the kick ahead and regather from Curtis Scott to set up the second try.

There were also some other great moments in defence. With six minutes remaining in the first half, Aidan Tolman was “ironed out like a shirt” by a combination of Ryan James and Ryan Sutton. Ball dropped by Tolman and regathered by James. In the 45th minute, Jack Wighton absolutely rocked Sharks winger Sione Katoa... with a little help from Ryan James. A couple of minutes later, Ryan James and Hudson Young absolutely smashed Mawene Hiroti to force an error. And finally, Josh Papalii brought out a big “don’t argue” for Connor Tracey with just under 10 minutes left. The Sharks sent a lot of attack down their right, with William Kennedy looking very dangerous at times. The Raiders left edge was repeatedly very good in containing it.

There were also some memorable moments for all the wrong reasons. One, in the 58th minute, was almost comical - when Jordan Rapana threw an unnecessary offload to Elliott Whitehead, and then knocked the ball from Whitehead's grasp as he retreated. Another not so good moment was when Curtis Scott ran in to push Josh Dugan over - producing a dust up and conceding a penalty. It gave the Sharks their opportunity to score their second try.

Best performers?

Ryan James. 13 runs for 144 metres, 46 post contact metres, one line break, four tackle breaks, 25 tackles, 96 per cent tackle efficiency. Not an error. What a great line break that was too!

Hudson Young. One try, 11 runs for 91 metres, 29 post contact metres, one line break, six tackle breaks, 34 tackles, 90 per cent tackle efficiency. The blot was conceding three penalties.

Sebastian Kris. One try, 11 runs for 115 metres, 43 post contact metres, one line break, five tackle breaks, 14 tackles, 82 per cent tackle efficiency, 38 kicking metres, one forced line drop out. Crucial kicking metres!

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 41, Hudson Young 34, Elliott Whitehead 30
Most metres gained: Jordan Rapana 163, Joseph Tapine 145, Ryan James 144, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 144

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Bailey Simonsson 5
Sebastian Kris 7
Curtis Scott 7
Jordan Rapana 7
Jack Wighton 6
George Williams 6
Josh Papalii 7
Josh Hodgson 6
Dunamis Lui 5
Hudson Young 8
Elliott Whitehead 7
Joe Tapine 7

Siliva Havili 4
Ryan Sutton 7
Sia Soliola 6
Ryan James 8

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: A legend in the making

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Canberra Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker has played 279 games for the Canberra Raiders, scored 132 tries and kicked 815 goals. That adds up to 2158 points.

He holds the Raiders' club record for the most tries and most points. He holds the club record for most points in a season - in fact four of the top five places for most points in a season belong to him. He's second only to Jason Croker for the most appearances in green.

Last year Croker became the fifth highest point scorer in NRL history. He now has the point scoring records of Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston in his sights. He has to score just 18 points to match Johns and 64 points to match Thurston. There is every prospect that this season, he could become one of the three top point scorers in the code's history in Australia. He also became the youngest player ever to break through the 2,000 career points barrier in 2020.



There are some great rugby league players who are not so great off the field. That's not the case with Jarrod Croker. I certainly wouldn't claim to know him, but have met him briefly a few times. He was a boy brought up in the country. He clearly comes from a good family and is a "good bloke". He's humble. He is invariably nice to the fans.

If Jarrod Croker is not already a club legend, he is a club legend in the making.

Croker will return from off season shoulder surgery on Saturday in the clash with the Warriors. Sebastian Kris made a strong impression filling in for Croker in the opening two rounds. Yesterday, Croker admitted he was feeling the pressure of competition, while giving his young team mate a rap.

"He's been great," Croker said.

"He obviously had the year off, he missed out last year. I think he came back in mid November, long before all the boys came back in and he's been leading the fitness ever since."

"He's been absolutely flying. Everyone's seen how hard he was working. For him to get that opportunity in the first game, and then the second game, and be one of our best players in both games, it's been great."

"I need to play well now. I need go in and play well. I just can't expect to just slide back in there. He's played that well, that I've got a job to go out and do now. That's the sort of depth and pressure we need around the club."

That's the attitude that we have all come to expect from Jarrod Croker.

That's why he's so widely respected and so well liked by the vast bulk of Canberra Raiders fans.



I expect Jarrod Croker himself would say that 2020 was not his best season, that his attacking strike was down. I suspect that reflected, at least in part, some niggling injury problems. Not that he'd be looking for any excuses.

I'm looking forward to his return on Saturday. To seeing some of those kick chases to the try line. The flick or deft touch to set up his winger. The sideline conversions. I'm looking forward to him surpassing the point scoring record of Johns, Thurston. With due respect to Jason Croker, I'm looking forward to him becoming the most capped Raider of all time. And most of all, I'd love to see him holding the premiership trophy aloft. He deserves it.

Welcome back skip.

*****

The Raiders' opponents this week, the Warriors, have caused the Green Machine a bit of heart break over the years.

In 2001, the Raiders were banished to Manuka Oval on a wet Saturday night, thrown off their own home ground by another event. Just 7,112 turned up to the then crumbling venue, members shut out of the only decent grandstand at the venue. The humiliation was complete when a very average Warriors outfit defeated the Raiders 22-10. That's one of the most miserable moments I can remember as a supporter of the club.

In 2003, the Raiders and Warriors fought one of the most gripping finals matches in history. The crowd of 30,000 at the Sydney Football Stadium was dominated by Warriors fans, who had been given 10,000 free tickets to the match by sponsor Vodafone - after fears that two 'out of town' teams would draw a poor crowd.

Facing a hostile reception, the Raiders were brilliant in the opening stages. Mark McLinden made a clean break in the first set, streaking downfield before the cover defence caught him. From the ensuing set, the Raiders were awarded a penalty which produced a Clinton Schifcofske goal to open the scoring. Soon after, an inspired run from captain Simon Woolford led to a try under the posts. After another penalty goal the Raiders were flying at 10-0. The Warriors, beaten grand finalists from the previous season, demonstrated their ability to step up a gear and produced two quick tries to even the match up at half time, the weight of possession strongly in New Zealand's favour.



Early in the second half, the Warriors scored again to take the lead for the first time, and many thought they would run away with the game. However the Raiders would not lie down. In a ferocious forwards battle, Ryan O'Hara and Luke Davico were devastating, as was Ruben Wiki who was playing out wider. Numerous big hits dominated the second half and the Raiders managed to pressure the Warriors into mistakes. A no-nonsense barge over try from Luke Davico had the game tied up at 16 all, and it stayed that way for 20 tense minutes.

The final stages will live in Raiders infamy for many a year. With only minutes on the clock, the Raiders were in their best field position of the half and a field goal was beckoning. Mark McLinden grubbered instead for Jason Bulgarelli. The ball sat up beautifully for the centre, who just needed to just hold the ball and fall over for a try. But he could not keep it in his grasp and dropped it forward. The Warriors subsequently worked the ball up field, giving Stacey Jones field position to drop the winning one pointer, just three minutes from the end. The Raiders were unable to square the match in a frenetic final few seconds, leaving the players and the thousands of Green Machine fans in the stands, yes, heartbroken.

Then there were the three losses in a row in 2013 and 2014 when the Raiders conceded more than 50 points to the Warriors. Those matches were part of a five game losing streak. Ouch.

The Raiders have lost two of the past three games played at Canberra Stadium. In 2018, the Raiders went to a 19-6 lead with around 30 minutes remaining, but went on to lose 20-19. The Raiders conceded a try and two field goals inside the final four minutes - Shaun Johnson kicking the winning drop goal with 39 seconds left on the clock. Yep, another heart breaker. The Warriors also got the victory in the final round of the regular season in 2019 - after the Raiders had already secured a top four finish and rested some of their star players. In that game, the Raiders led 20-12 with 12 minutes remaining - before conceding two tries. The Warriors won 24-20.



Sure, the Raiders have inflicted a fair bit of pain on the Warriors too - including a couple of memorable golden point victories. And the Raiders have won 24 matches of the 44 clashes between the clubs.

But all that serves to remind us that the Raiders have often found big Warriors teams - that were prepared to chance their arm - a bit of a handful.

*****

So, while the Raiders are clear favourites in Saturday's match, I think it might be a tougher contest than many are expecting. The Warriors are again a very big team. As Joe Tapine said this week, their wingers are as big as the Raiders' forwards. It might be a bit wet underfoot, and that should suit the Warriors too. However, the Warriors are affected by suspension and injury and I think the Raiders should have a bit too much class. Here's hoping.

It is another double header on Saturday. The Raiders' NSW Cup team will play Mounties the warm up game. Mounties defected to the Bulldogs last year, after an eight year affiliation with Canberra - so we could see a bit of a grudge match. Make sure you get to the ground early, so as to check the form the likes of Emre Guler, Corey Horsburgh and Tom Starling.

Our Canberra Raiders Cup representatives will also be in action on Saturday, when the Monaro Colts meet the Illawarra South Coast Dragons in the Grand Final of the 2021 Country Championships. Kick off is at 2:30pm at the HE Laybutt Field at Blacktown - so it unfortunately clashes with the Raiders' matches. The game will be broadcast on line via the NSWRL Facebook page - so we can at least catch the game on replay. Good luck to player/coach Terry Campese and his team!

*****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here is the points tally after the Round 2 win over the Sharks. Tell us what you think of the ratings!

Total points

Hudson Young 16
Joe Tapine 15
Ryan James 15
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 14
Elliott Whitehead 14
George Williams 14
Jordan Rapana 14
Josh Papalii 14
Ryan Sutton 14
Curtis Scott 13
Josh Hodgson 13
Sebastian Kris 13
Jack Wighton 12
Sia Soliola 12
Bailey Simonsson 11
Dunamis Lui 10
Siliva Havili 10

Average points per match

Hudson Young 8.0
Joe Tapine 7.5
Ryan James 7.5
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.0
Elliott Whitehead 7.0
George Williams 7.0
Jordan Rapana 7.0
Josh Papalii 7.0
Ryan Sutton 7.0
Curtis Scott 6.5
Josh Hodgson 6.5
Sebastian Kris 6.5
Jack Wighton 6.0
Sia Soliola 6.0
Bailey Simonsson 5.5
Dunamis Lui 5.0
Siliva Havili 5.0

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"In all my years of coaching, it's probably 18, 19 or 20 years, I've never been involved in a greater team performance. They only had one player left on the interchange bench. I've never seen a group of individuals, who were down to 14, play so well, but yet play to such adversity and play for each other.

"I know it's in us and I've learned tonight it's even more in us. I've got a winning team in there. Because we didn't get the points tonight, but I know what change room I'd prefer to be in coaching and that's in my change room.

"I come in here because it's my job. I respect the fact you've got a job. I've got $20,000 hanging over my head. So if I don't turn up here tonight I get fined. If all the fine money was going to the Ricky Stuart Foundation I'd tell you the truth today. Because then if I get fined, I'd know the money was going to the best cause I know of. I can't tell you the truth. I can't tell you the way that game panned out because I'll get fined. So I'm not going to answer any questions. I've done my job."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2021 Round 3. New Zealand Warriors 34 - Canberra Raiders 31. It was a narrow loss for a brave, courageous Canberra Raiders team. The Raiders lost Joe Tapine after 10 minutes to an ankle injury. They lost Ryan James and Sebastian Kris a few minutes later, after they clashed heads while attempting a tackle. None of them could return. Before 15 minutes had elapsed, the Raiders were down to just 14 men.



The ultimate difference between the teams was a cruel one - a Warriors try scored from a blatant forward pass, with the referee, Henry Perenara, right there to see it. It looked like he was about to call it, but then didn't. He then he allowed Ben Murdoch-Masila to proceed, to plant the ball over the line.

The Warriors scored first, but by the 25th minute, the Raiders led on the scoreboard, courtesy of tries to Jack Wighton and Ryan Sutton. The Raiders streaked away to a 19 point lead at half time. They led 31-10 at the 50 minute mark, after a wonderful try to Elliott Whitehead. They led right up until the 78th minute, when Warriors centre, Adam Pompey scored. And even then, the Raiders were not done. They regathered the short kick off and Jordan Rapana very nearly scored in the corner with 20 seconds left. Only a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck arm grab stopped him.



The Warriors did well to make their comeback. But the second half was always going to be a war of attrition, with the 14 Raiders players left, exhausted. Curtis Scott was forced to play on with broken ribs, such was the depth of the injury crisis facing the Green Machine. Ricky Stuart was admirably restrained in the press conference, lauding his players and refusing to comment on the controversial officiating.

In my view, it was not only controversial because of the blatant forward pass that was missed, and that produced the Murdoch-Masila try. It was also because of the interpretation of the ruck, which saw the Warriors penalised just twice with set restarts. The Raiders were judged to have infringed in the ruck five times - with a critical "six again" call in the lead up to the final Warriors try. I'm not saying that was an incorrect call. But there were many ruck infringements from the Warriors left unchecked in the second half.

That Raiders team deserved better, unfairly denied a famous victory. But for the injuries, I think there's little doubt that the Raiders would have won the match, despite any incorrect calls from the officials. But in the circumstances, one crucial call was one hurdle too many for Canberra.

The match highlighted the issue of player welfare. The game has properly implemented strict procedures for dealing with concussion. The NRL has concurrently made the game faster, through a variety of new rules. When the new rules intersect, as they did yesterday, there are significant consequences for the welfare of the players who remain playing. Yesterday, Curtis Scott had little option but to play on with broken ribs. The possibility of an 18th man, to cover the loss of one or more players to concussion, needs to be revisited - particularly when a team's bench is exhausted, or almost exhausted. The Raiders were not alone yesterday, with the Sharks reduced to just 13 fit players.

The NRL needs to again consider the impact of the new rules on injuries. We had an injury riddled 2020 season for the bulk of clubs. Legitimate questions were raised about whether that was the result of the new "six again" rule. Those questions were quickly forgotten by the NRL over the off season, and we have more new rules aimed at making the game even faster in 2021. This weekend, we've already seen a huge injury toll across a number of clubs. A case of more thought required.

Stats that mattered?

The Warriors ended the match with a 52 per cent share of possession, and over 65 per cent of the territory. In the second half, they had 60 per cent of the ball and over 70 per cent of the territory. It is remarkable that the depleted Raiders team did not concede more points in the second forty, that they only lost by three points.

The Raiders had a better completion rate (85 per cent, compared with 76 per cent for the Warriors), with the Warriors making more errors (10-8) and conceding more penalties (5-1). But as mentioned, the Warriors received more "six again" calls (5-2). They also played the right sort of game to tire the Raiders out. They passed more and threw 20 offloads (Raiders three). That translated into an effective tackle rate for the Raiders of 85 per cent (92 per cent for the Warriors). The Raiders produced 29 ineffective tackles (Warriors six) and missed 32 tackles (Warriors 24).

As a result of all that, the Warriors dominated the attacking statistics. They made more runs (188-179), running metres (1902-1611), post contact metres (801-657), kick return metres (231-114), metres per set (46-41), line breaks (8-5) and tackle breaks (32-24). The Raiders were forced to kick more (22-16) and kick long (684 kicking metres for the Raiders, 381 for the Warriors). Canberra got more line forced line drop outs (2-1).

Memorable moments?

In one way, this is a match we'll remember for the wrong reasons. But it's also a match to remember for the skill and courage of the players. I've mentioned some of that already. Sometimes criticised for overplaying his hand in the red zone, Josh Hodgson had fun with the crash ball in the first half, setting up good tries for Ryan Sutton and Sia Soliola. There were also some great individual runs from Jack Wighton and George Williams that produced four pointers in the first half. The best try of the match, however, came in the 48th minute, with Jordan Rapana and Elliott Whitehead spreading the ball to Jarrod Croker. Croker broke away down the touch line, before Rapana backed up inside. The winger then put in the perfect kick ahead to the try line... with Elliott Whitehead one of three chasers there to score the try.

The best moment in defence? It came late with five minutes remaining, when Tom Starling, Josh Hodgson and Jack Wighton drove David Fusitu'a back into the in goal. It was the sort of desperate play that almost saw the Raiders hold on, in the final stages.

Best performers?

Ryan Sutton. One try, 23 runs for 200 metres, 91 post contact metres, one line break, two tackle breaks, 51 tackles, 94 per cent tackle efficiency. His only blot was two ruck infringements.

Jordan Rapana. 20 runs for 221 metres, three dummy half runs for 28 metres, 66 post contact metres, one line break, one try assist, eight tackle breaks, one offload, three kicks defused, five tackles, 83 per cent tackle efficiency, one forced line drop out, 64 kicking metres, two errors. His legs don't carry him as quickly as they once did, and he had to look for support after making a break. But he did everything he possibly could to get the win for the Raiders, right to the final seconds.

Josh Hodgson. Four runs for 40 metres, two line break assists, two try assists, 42 tackles, 81 per cent tackle efficiency, one forced line drop out, 62 kicking metres, two ruck infringements.

Every player put in so much hard work, it was hard to select just three.

Top tacklers: Ryan Sutton 51, Josh Hodgson 42, Elliott Whitehead 36, Josh Papalii 31, Siliva Havili 31
Most metres gained: Jordan Rapana 221, Josh Papalii 209, Ryan Sutton 200, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 197

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Bailey Simonsson 7
Jarrod Croker 6
Curtis Scott 4*
Jordan Rapana 8
Jack Wighton 7
George Williams 7
Josh Papalii 7
Josh Hodgson 7
Ryan Sutton 9
Elliott Whitehead 7
Sebastian Kris 2**
Joe Tapine 3**

Siliva Havili 7
Sia Soliola 7
Ryan James 2**
Tom Starling 7

* Played with a significant injury.
** Played limited minutes due to injury.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: Of forward passes and 18th men

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The Canberra Raiders' brave, last gasp loss to the Warriors helped propel two debates this week which potentially have far reaching consequences for the game.

The Raiders were reduced to 14 players inside the first 15 minutes last Saturday. Joe Tapine suffered ankle ligament damage after 10 minutes. Concussion ruled out Ryan James and Sebastian Kris a few minutes later - after they clashed heads in a tackle. Curtis Scott played out the match with rib damage, in light of the injury crisis. In any other game, he would have doubtless left the field.

The Raiders effectively played for almost 70 minutes with just 13 fit players. Forwards like Ryan Sutton and Josh Papalii were forced to do double time. It is little wonder that the Warriors had the Raiders on the back foot for the final 30 minutes.

The match highlighted the courage and character of the Raiders team. The fought right to the final seconds.

But it also highlighted the issue of player welfare, when teams run out of replacements. That also happened to the Sharks last Saturday.



The game is now treating concussion seriously. These days, head impact assessments (HIAs) frequently see players ruled out of matches, appropriately. But what about the impact of the players left? Players like Curtis Scott who played on with a painful injury? Others playing much longer minutes?

In the wake of the weekend, the NRL decided, in principle, to allow an 18th man to be brought in once a club loses three players to an HIA in a match - from Round 5. They agreed the 18th man must be an "emerging player". There is now to be consultation with clubs, coaches and the Rugby League Players Association on the rule - in particular, the definition of an "emerging player".

I've written a fair bit about the NRL's lack of consultation in introducing rule changes in the past couple of years. So the fact that there's going to be consultation is a good thing.

As it stands, however, the proposed rule has significant problems.

For a start, it does not address the player welfare issue. Only one game since the start of 2020 has seen three players ruled out of a side due to concussion. The proposed rule wouldn't have helped the Raiders or Sharks on Saturday.

Certainly, we don't want clubs faking injuries to take strategic advantage of an 18th man. But as it stands, the rule will do virtually nothing. It will be virtually never triggered. Two might be a more reasonable number.

We need to remember there are other ways of ensuring clubs are not "faking" injuries. In the NSW Cup, teams can now utilise an 18th man if they have a player ruled out by an HIA - but concussed players must stand down for at least the next game. Clubs will take that pretty seriously. Club doctors make independent assessments as it is. But, alternatively, the NRL could appoint their own doctors to make HIA rulings - completely independent of clubs.

The requirement than an 18th man should be an emerging player seems to be aimed at reducing the strategic advantage of bringing in the extra player. But it is not a good idea.

Under the proposal, teams would already be down to 14 men. That's not the sort of game you should be bringing in a young, inexperienced player - possibly for their NRL debut.

Not only that, what's the point of having an emerging player sitting on the sidelines for no reason? Because the rule will virtually never be triggered. They should be playing footy and developing their game.

I thought there was a good suggestion made on The Greenhouse this week. Why not just extend the bench to 18 or 19 players, but not change the number of permitted interchanges?

Coaches would use players strategically, and it'd reduce fatigue in the game - just when rule changes have been implemented to increase it. But it'd certainly address the player welfare issue. And given the number of injuries we've seen in 2020 and so far in 2021, maybe there's a bit too much fatigue.

In any case, I'm hoping consultation produces some changes to what the NRL has proposed.

A controversial "try" that was not a try. That's also generated debate following the Raiders' loss to the Warrlors.



At around the 60 minute mark, Warriors forward Ben Murdoch-Masila "scored" off a blatant forward pass from Kodi Nikorima. It happened right in front of referee Henry Perenara. He stopped, and it looked like he was about to call the forward pass, but inexplicably then allowed play to proceed.

For the Raiders, that decision proved the difference between winning and losing in the match.

On Monday, NRL football boss Graham Annesley admitted the pass was forward and should have been disallowed.

Because of difficulties with camera angles, the bunker is not permitted to review forward passes. No captain's challenge is allowed for forward passes. Only the on-field officials can rule on them.

Annesley says the NRL is looking at technology that will allow the bunker to intervene in future - apparently it involves microchips implanted in the ball - but it is still some way off.

Last Saturday, however, Nikorima's forward pass was so blatant there was no doubt it was a "no try".

The existing video technology allowed the referees to say, categorically, that the pass was forward on Monday. So if that's the case, why couldn't the bunker have told us that on Saturday?

When the decision is an absolute howler, surely the bunker should be allowed to intervene?

If the promised new technology to assess forward passes doesn't come along soon, the NRL should be looking at what it can do to avoid a repeat of what happened in Round 3.

*****

This Saturday night, the Raiders head to Kogarah for a clash with the Gold Coast. Given the COVID situation in south east Queensland, the Titans have relocated to Sydney - and their scheduled home game against the Raiders has been moved to Jubilee Stadium. It'll be part of a double header, with the Sharks' match-up with the Cowboys also shifted - from Sunshine Coast Stadium back to Sydney.

The Titans have recruited strongly in the off season and were in some great form against the Cowboys last weekend. They'll be tough opposition, even though they've lost their home ground advantage. However, the Green Machine should be a more difficult assignment than any the Titans have faced this year. I'm tipping the Raiders by six.

The Raiders' NSW Cup team plays the Newtown Jets at Raiders Belconnen on Easter Saturday at 4pm. The Raiders were very disappointing against Mounties last weekend, and they'll be aiming to make amends this week. If you're in Canberra, make sure you get out to the game. You'll still have plenty of time to get home for the Raiders' NRL match - or you can watch it on the screens at the club.

The NSWRL Junior Representatives season is coming to a close, with just two matches of the regular season left. The three Raiders teams face the Sydney Roosters at Mascot Oval on Saturday - with the SG Ball team still in with a real shot at a title this year. If you're in Sydney for Easter, it should be a nice afternoon for footy.

*****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here is the points tally after the Round 3 clash with the Warriors. Tell us what you think of the ratings!

Total points

Ryan Sutton 23
Jordan Rapana 22
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 21
Elliott Whitehead 21
George Williams 21
Josh Papalii 21
Josh Hodgson 20
Jack Wighton 19
Sia Soliola 19
Bailey Simonsson 18
Joe Tapine 18
Curtis Scott 17
Ryan James 17
Siliva Havili 17
Hudson Young 16
Sebastian Kris 15
Dunamis Lui 10
Tom Starling 7
Jarrod Croker 6

Average points per match

Hudson Young 8.0
Ryan Sutton 7.7
Jordan Rapana 7.3
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.0
Elliott Whitehead 7.0
George Williams 7.0
Josh Papalii 7.0
Tom Starling 7.0
Josh Hodgson 6.7
Jack Wighton 6.3
Sia Soliola 6.3
Bailey Simonsson 6.0
Jarrod Croker 6.0
Joe Tapine 6.0
Curtis Scott 5.7
Ryan James 5.7
Siliva Havili 5.7
Dunamis Lui 5.0
Sebastian Kris 5.0

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RedRaider
Bradley Clyde
Posts: 8181
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by RedRaider »

I'll only say one thing about the forward pass. I reckon the Roosters won't get such a ruling against them, for their Warriors game this week.
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rolhai
Brett Mullins
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by rolhai »

Apparently it would have only triggered twice since concussion protocols were introduced in 2014.....

https://nrl.sportsmatemobile.com/news/33972


What a friggin waste of time if no changes are made to the proposal!

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1985/86: The last time we missed consecutive finals series.....Until STICKY
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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 135077
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

rolhai wrote: March 31, 2021, 8:04 pm Apparently it would have only triggered twice since concussion protocols were introduced in 2014.....

https://nrl.sportsmatemobile.com/news/33972

What a friggin waste of time if no changes are made to the proposal!
Even worse than I thought!
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irvste
Terry Campese
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by irvste »

Case of being seen to do something without really doing something

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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 135077
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"It was a big effort after such a huge effort last week - when we had lack of troops and so many middles with the workload they had to cop. We've had the Tigers, Sharks who are in the eight, Warriors and these boys tonight. Three of those teams had probably eight weeks more preparation than us, in regards to a shorter off season - because we went deep into the season, which is what you want. But every football team at the start of the year is motivated. More motivated. I pay respect to every football team we are playing against. It's been a tough month for us. Whether you're playing Melbourne, Roosters or the boys we've played. It's been a hard slog. You've got to be up to play every weekend or you get beaten. That's the way you've got to approach each game."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2021 Round 4. Canberra Raiders 20 - Gold Coast Titans 4. It was a very solid, grinding win for the Canberra Raiders at the Titans' temporary "home" of Kogarah Oval. It was almost all about the defence for the Green Machine. The Titans produced 44 points and seven tries last week against the Cowboys. Against the Raiders, they scored one, single, solitary try. It is not like the Titans did not have opportunities. They had many. But Canberra's defence was simply too committed for them.

It was encapsulated by three try savers in the first half from Jack Wighton and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Both stopped almost certain tries for Titans winger Anthony Don. Nicoll-Klokstad also stood in the way of Mitch Rein, who fell just short of the line. Apart from one glorious try, the Raiders attack looked a bit clunky. However, premierships are not won in Round 4. And premierships are built on defence.



As Ricky Stuart pointed out, the win was even more impressive given the events of last week. When the Raiders were reduced to 13 fit men - with many of the forwards doing double time. The Titans are not the easy beats of recent years. They've recruited strongly and were keen to prove they are the "real deal" last night. Instead, the Raiders made sure it was a bit of a reality check for the Gold Coast outfit.

Ryan James was given the honour of starting the match against his old club. He was again very good - and sadly, he wasn't able to cross the line himself. He deserved to, after a great first month in green. The Canberra forwards did very well to contain the big Titans pack - and kept the million dollar man, David Fifita relatively quiet. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui still broke the 200 metres gained mark, while Fifita and Moeaki Fotuaika broke 150. Winger Corey Thompson made 193 running metres, while AJ Brimson made 170. But no matter what the Titans threw at Canberra, the Raiders proved to be resilient. And it frustrated the Titans out of the game.

The match saw Jarrod Croker equal the career points tally achieved by Andrew Johns. He now ranks equal fourth on the list of players who have scored the most NRL points ever. That's a special achievement - and hopefully next week, he will surpass the Johns tally. Croker also has the prospect of surpassing the points record of Johnathan Thurston this season.

Remarkably, Croker didn't take a shot at penalty goal at the death - which would have given him the opportunity to break the Johns record. Perhaps Croker didn't even know about it. Jordan Rapana was very intent on closing down the play - and any other opportunity for the Titans to score a point. And if Croker did know, it says a lot that he didn't overrule his winger. He would see the team outcome as more important.

Croker did struggle to contain his opposite centre, Patrick Herbert last night and there were more missed and ineffective tackles on Herbert than he would have liked. But there were no try causes either. And then how about that flick pass from Croker to set up the Jordan Rapana try? That certainly was another moment to remember.

The Raiders now travel to Penrith for a clash with the high flying Panthers. It will be a huge test for the Canberra defence. And given the Panthers so far have the best defence in the league - they've conceded an average of four points per game - it is a big challenge for the attack. It will be interesting to see what coach Ricky Stuart has up his sleeve for next week.

Stats that mattered?

The Titans ended the match with a 53 per cent share of possession, and an even share of the territory. They had 36 tackles in the Raiders' red zone, compared with just 16 for the Raiders in the opposition 20 metres. Sixty per cent of those opportunities in the red zone came in the second half, but they could not score a point.

The Raiders had a better completion rate (77 per cent, compared with 68 per cent for the Titans), with the Titans making more errors (14-12) and conceding more penalties (6-3). Both teams conceded five set restarts. That is probably an error count that neither coach would be happy with.

The Titans made more runs (210-188), running metres (1835-1672), post contact metres (565-535), metres per set (42-39), tackle breaks (39-26) and offloads (14-6). Line breaks ended up level (3-3), as did the kick return metres (154-154). There was also not much difference in the kicking metres (Raiders 559 metres from 22 kicks, Titans 540 metres from 23 kicks). However, the Titans forced two line drop outs, the Raiders none. In addition, the Raiders defused just 62 per cent of kicks, compared with 83 per cent for the Titans. The Raiders' kicking game could probably have been better - with too many kick errors.

The Raiders were forced to make more tackles (387-350). They also produced more missed tackles (39-26) and ineffective tackles (22-11). That translated into an 86 per cent effective tackle rate for the Raiders, compared with 90 per cent for the Titans. While the Raiders' defence was not perfect, the stat that really mattered for the Raiders was this: one try conceded.

Memorable moments?

I have stolen my own thunder. The three try savers in the first half were the sort of defensive efforts that will be among the Raiders best tackles of the season. In the 12th minute, Mitch Rein took off from dummy half, 12 metres from the line. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad stood in the way, and then Hudson Young cleaned up - ensuring Rein was short of the line. Then in the 23rd minute, Jack Wighton launched himself at Anthony Don, who was about to score in the corner. Wighton just knocked Don's arm, forcing the ball loose. With four minutes remaining in the first half, CNK was at it again - stripping the ball from Don as he was again about to score. Elliott Whiteheads' tackle on David Fifita was a big hit that wasn't too bad either.

The Raiders scored two tries in the second half from crash balls. Papalii's four pointer confirmed the Raiders' dominance, while Sutton's try, just before full time, sealed the game. The best try, however, was the first, scored early in the first half. George Williams delivered a stunning short pass to Whitehead, which put the second rower in to the gap. Croker then followed up with a brilliant flick pass to put Rapana over. It showed the true beauty of rugby league.

Best performers?

Ryan Sutton. One try, 21 runs for 185 metres, 54 post contact metres, one line break, three tackle breaks, 40 tackles, 85 per cent tackle efficiency. His only blot was one restart conceded.

Josh Papalii. One try, 21 runs for 193 metres, 67 post contact metres, one line break, three tackle breaks, 29 tackles, 97 per cent tackle efficiency, one very rare error.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. 27 runs for 270 metres, 78 post contact metres, six tackle breaks, six tackles, two try savers, 75 per cent tackle efficiency, one error.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 46, Ryan Sutton 40, Hudson Young 39, Elliott Whitehead 37
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 270, Josh Papalii 193, Ryan Sutton 184

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 8
Bailey Simonsson 7
Jarrod Croker 6
Sebastian Kris 6
Jordan Rapana 7
Jack Wighton 7
George Williams 7
Dunamis Lui 5
Josh Hodgson 7
Ryan James 7
Hudson Young 7
Elliott Whitehead 7
Ryan Sutton 8

Josh Papalii 8
Tom Starling 3*
Siliva Havili 6
Sia Soliola 6

* Played limited minutes.

Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know what you think!

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T_R
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by T_R »

Best match report in the game each week....very good reading.

No friggin' way Croker was a 6 though.

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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

I have to admit, I very carefully thought about a 5. After that flick pass and becoming the equal fourth highest point scorer, alongside Andrew Johns, I just couldn't give him a 5.
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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: Remind them about 1990

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The Canberra Raiders meet the Penrith Panthers in a blockbuster clash this week. Both are among the 2021 premiership contenders. The Raiders made the Grand Final in 2019, the Panthers in 2020. Both teams tasted defeat.

The rivalry between the two clubs stretches back to the early 1990s when they met in successive Grand Finals.

The rivalry has been renewed in recent years, with the Raiders knocking the Panthers out of the 2016 finals.

If you're wondering how bitter the rivalry is for some, just ask former Panthers half, and Fox League commentator, Greg Alexander which team he hates the most. He barely struggles to conceal it in any discussion of the Raiders.

This Friday night, the Panthers will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first premiership, back in 1991, when they beat the Raiders at the Sydney Football Stadium.



The Raiders were looking for their third premiership in a row that year. But it was also the year of a salary cap crisis - and an injury crisis. So it was remarkable that Canberra even qualified for that Grand Final. The Raiders players said that "this time it's personal". Their other catch cry was "back to back to back". But it was not to be.

And while that's the game that the Panthers fans will be keen to re-live on Friday night, the Raiders fans should be remembering 1990.

The Raiders' first premiership in 1989 was a fairy tale. They were not expected to win. No team from outside Sydney had won a Grand Final. No team had won from fourth or fifth. The Raiders defied all the hurdles placed in front of them, winning in extra time, in what is still regarded as the greatest Grand Final of all time.

Canberra followed up with one of the club's best seasons in its history in 1990. The Green Machine finished as minor premiers club champions - and featured in all three grades on grand final day.

The Raiders' opponent in the main event was the Penrith Panthers, a club that had waited almost a quarter of a century for a title.

It was a young Penrith team, coached by Phil Gould, that finished third. There's another bloke that can't conceal his dislike for the Raiders.

Penrith was the first team to qualify for the Grand Final that year, after they defeated Canberra, 30-12 in the major semi-final. They had a nervous two week wait for the decider.



On Grand Final day, the Raiders won the President's Cup and were controversially defeated in reserves in extra time.

It meant that the Grand Final started a half an hour late. A bit more time for nervous waiting. That probably favoured the now more experienced Raiders.

Penrith started the match strongly, but Canberra quickly took control. A break to Gary Belcher and a trade mark, long cut out pass from Ricky Stuart set up the first try for John Ferguson.

An incisive run from Ricky Stuart then set up a Laurie Daley try under the posts.

"Canberra – they’re too hot, they’re too strong" came the famous call from the commentary box. It was 12-0 and it appeared as if the Raiders could overwhelm Penrith.

However, the Panthers fought back. A try to Brad Fittler just before half time, was followed by another to Paul Smith just after the break, and Penrith trailed by just two.

The match hung in the balance for much of the second half. But Ricky Stuart’s masterful kicking game ensured the Raiders maintained their hold on the lead.

Then just five minutes from the end, the Raiders scored a spectacular try – Meninga and Daley barnstorming in attack, and Matthew Wood finishing with the four points.

The match belonged to Canberra, despite a last minute try from Greg Alexander through a tap close to the line.

As the hooter sounded, the Canberra Times posters emerged: "WE DID IT! AGAIN!"

It was a different feeling to the ecstasy of 1989. It was almost a sense of relief, of all the expectations being met. It was how it was meant to be.

The backs had shone in the match, but the victory had been just as much about the forwards and the defence.

"There is going to be a lot said about the way we attacked out there today," coach Tim Sheens said after the match.

"But I was just as happy with the way we defended. Both last week when we beat Brisbane, and this week, the defence blotted out the opposition's key players."

"It was much tougher than last year," prop Brent Todd reflected.

"You only have to look at the blokes in the pack to see the scars, everybody had shed blood. A lot of people may not appreciate our forwards - but our backs do."

It was the last match for club legends, Dean Lance and John Ferguson. It was fitting that the sprightly 36 year old winger, known as "Chicka", scored in the match.

Ricky Stuart was Clive Churchill medalist for his towering performance.

The 1989 and 1994 Grand Finals are seared in the memories of Raiders fans - such was the greatness of those victories.

Sometimes, 1990 feels like the forgotten premiership. It shouldn't be that way.

And when the Panthers fans - the likes of Phil Gould and Greg Alexander - sprout forth on 1991 this week, remind them of 1990.

1990 Grand Final – Canberra Raiders 18 (Laurie Daley, John Ferguson, Matthew Wood tries, Mal Meninga 3 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 14 (Greg Alexander, Brad Fitler, Paul Smith tries, Greg Alexander 1 goal) at the Sydney Football Stadium. Crowd: 41,535.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Belcher 2. Paul Martin 3. Mal Meninga 4. Laurie Daley 5. John Ferguson 6. Chris O'Sullivan 7. Ricky Stuart 8. Brent Todd 9. Steve Walters 10. Glenn Lazarus 11. Nigel Gaffey 12. Gary Coyne 13. Dean Lance

14. Matthew Wood 15. Phil Carey 16. David Barnhill 17. Craig Bellamy

Coach Tim Sheens


*****

It has taken four rounds, but ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys is reportedly shocked by the blowouts we are seeing in matches in 2021.

The average winning margin last weekend was 26.1 points, the biggest since Round 16 of 2004. This season's average winning margin is 18.3 points, compared with 15.1 points in 2020 season.

"I didn’t expect it to be this magnitude," V’landys admitted this week.

"But you can’t just put it on one factor. The rules probably have a small part. The under 20s have got a small part. The rosters have a major part; it’s a multitude of factors."

Phil Gould's theory is that the abandonment of the National Youth Competition has severely impacted on the development of players at some clubs - which is producing the huge gap between the top and bottom teams. V'landys has seized on Gould's explanation.

I certainly was of the view that downgrading the Under 20s was a very bad idea. You didn't have to be Nostradamus to predict that. I definitely agree that the development pathways need to be urgently fixed.

I've also been predicting that the new rules would produce blow outs in scorelines for some time. That one is being downplayed by the NRL, at least at present.

But let's not overlook the other explanation from V'landys: the rosters.

The NRL has been telling us for years that the salary cap has been effective in producing an even competition. The fact that two teams have dominated Grand Finals and premierships for a decade was conveniently ignored.

But the facts can no longer be ignored. The salary cap is not doing the job. Not only is there a huge hole in the cap (third party deals), the cap doesn't reward the development of junior players. Lots of thinking required.

*****

It was good to see the ARLC adjust the proposed 18th man rule after consultation with clubs and players this week.

It is not ideal that three players must be lost to concussion before the 18th man can be drawn upon. That wasn't changed. But a good suggestion from Ricky Stuart - that the 18th man should also cover a player lost due to foul play - was picked up. The idea that an 18th man had to be an emerging player was also appropriately abandoned.

I've written at length about the lack of consultation in ARLC decisions this year and last - so the process this week is a step in the right direction.

*****

It should be a cracking match on Friday night between the Raiders and Panthers. There are some mouth watering match-ups in prospect: Papalii and Fisher-Harris, Wighton and Luai, Williams and Cleary.

Penrith only lost two games in the shortened 2020 season - one of which was the Grand Final. They're undefeated so far this year. Sure, they've played a few of the weaker teams in 2021 - but they also beat the Storm in a tight struggle in the rematch of the 2020 Grand Final. Their defence is the best in the league over the opening month, and their attack is flowing freely too.

It is going to be a big test for the Raiders. They have struggled a bit in their three wins. Their only loss - to the Warriors - was understandable, given they were reduced to 13 fit men early in the clash. And the Raiders only lost that game due a Warriors try, which the NRL admits was scored from a forward pass. The attack has been a bit clunky, but the defence has been mostly very good. It's also a positive that the Raiders have been winning games when they have not played at their best.

I'm tipping the Panthers given this year's form lines. But I'm hoping that Ricky Stuart and the team will be bursting balloons and spoiling the party at Panthers Stadium.

The Raiders' NSW Cup team plays the Panthers in the warm up match at Penrith on Friday evening. It is a clash between first and second on the ladder - and the Raiders go into the match having beaten the Newtown Jets 60-20 last weekend. If you're attending, get there for gates open.

The Raiders play the Dragons in a "wash out" round in Junior Representatives on Saturday. The SG Ball team is still in contention for the finals, which commence the weekend after next - so they'll be keen to finish the regular season with a win.

Don't forget, the 2021 Canberra Raiders Cup season kicks off this weekend. The competition was not played in 2020 due to the pandemic. Three teams participated in a shortened CRRL Cup - the Gungahlin Bulls, Queanbeyan Blues and Woden Valley Rams - along with a Canberra Raiders Under 20s team. However, all nine Canberra Raiders Cup teams will be back in a full competition this year. Get to a local ground if you can on Saturday or Sunday or watch the live streams!

*****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here is the points tally after the Round 4 win over the Titans. Tell us what you think of the ratings!

Total points

Ryan Sutton 31
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 29
Jordan Rapana 29
Josh Papalii 29
Elliott Whitehead 28
George Williams 28
Josh Hodgson 27
Jack Wighton 26
Bailey Simonsson 25
Sia Soliola 25
Ryan James 24
Hudson Young 23
Siliva Havili 23
Sebastian Kris 21
Joe Tapine 18
Curtis Scott 17
Dunamis Lui 15
Jarrod Croker 12
Tom Starling 10

Average points per match

Ryan Sutton 7.8
Hudson Young 7.7
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.3
Jordan Rapana 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Elliott Whitehead 7.0
George Williams 7.0
Josh Hodgson 6.8
Jack Wighton 6.5
Bailey Simonsson 6.3
Sia Soliola 6.3
Jarrod Croker 6.0
Joe Tapine 6.0
Ryan James 6.0
Siliva Havili 5.8
Curtis Scott 5.7
Sebastian Kris 5.3
Dunamis Lui 5.0
Tom Starling 5.0

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"It was quite physical, very early it was a tough physical contest. It loosened up a little bit in the second half, but we were outplayed by a far better footy team. We did a good job I thought in the first 25 minutes, we gained some ascendancy. Then a bit of the flow, a bit of momentum went against us in the last 15 minutes. They scored a couple of tries and knocked the wind out of our sails.

There's lots of little things you can look at. You've just got to toughen up and face the facts, we were beaten by a better football team. [Losing Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad] shouldn't be an excuse. Jordan's played fullback. It certainly did [unsettle the team] but it shouldn't be an excuse. I'm happy with Elliott in the centres, that's what happens when you lose an outside back. Rapa's played fullback before. He did a good job there tonight, he tried really hard. We're not good enough yet.

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2021 Round 5. Penrith Panthers 30 - Canberra Raiders 10. Not good enough yet. It was a big test for the Raiders and one they did not pass. It turned out to be a reality check for the Green Machine. The Panthers planned a party for the 30th anniversary of their first premiership - when they beat the Raiders in the 1991 Grand Final. And party they did.



The Raiders lost fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in the 24th minute, after he was tackled high by Viliame Kikau. It meant Jordan Rapana had to take over at fullback, with Jarrod Croker moving to the wing and Elliott Whitehead moving to centre. Nicoll-Klokstad failed his HIA assessment - but because Kikau was not sin binned for foul play, the new 18th man rule was not triggered. Not that it would have helped the Raiders that much. They had second rower Corey Harawira-Naera as their 18th man. What they really needed was a back.

After the match, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said his team did not play that well. He's right. Both teams made crucial errors in the first half - but the opposition was unable to take full advantage. The Raiders looked for a while like they might be taking control. Jack Wighton scored a typical Jack Wigton try in the 12th minute. For a moment it looked like Jarrod Croker had scored in the 20th minute. It would have been 12-0, but Croker clearly did not ground the ball. And then things came unstuck. The Panthers scored three tries in the last 15 minutes of the first half - and the match was essentially gone.

In the lead up to the game Elliott Whitehead said: "I honestly do think we probably have got the best pack in the whole league. It's always nice to come up against good opposition. Their pack is one of the best packs in the league. It's going to be a tough job but I believe the pack we've got here can match them."

The team - and the pack - was disrupted by the Nicoll-Klokstad injury. But the Raiders' pack was dominated by the opposition. It was that crucial battle where the match was won and lost. Only Hudson Young (147) and Josh Papalii (120) broke the 100 metres gained mark. The Panthers pack got over the top of them. Spencer Lenui produced 200 metres gained, James Fisher-Harris 168, Liam Martin 127. It allowed the Panthers backs to open up.

The Panthers team and fans were certainly arrogant last night. They're not too likable. Their fans mocked the Raiders with their own "Viking Clap". After the Panthers scored through Charlie Staines with 15 minutes remaining, they started a dust up - by pushing and shoving Joe Tapine, who was simply waiting on the sideline, waiting to re-enter the field. The NRL should take action on it. That said, the Panthers earned the right to be arrogant last night.

The Raiders were their own worst enemies at times. Every time the Raiders looked like they might be steadying the ship in the second half, every time they looked like they might be getting a roll on, they produced an error. A forward pass. Penalties when in possession, twice for obstruction. The combination between hooker and halves is yet to gel. The positive is that the Raiders can learn something from the game. It was Round 5. Premierships are not won in Round 5. There's plenty of time left in the season. But there's lots of work to do.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders had almost 55 per cent of possession in the first half - but the Panthers ended the match with a 53 per cent possession share. In both halves, the Panthers had around 60 per cent of the territory. The Panthers completed at just 69 per cent (Raiders 68 per cent) - and produced 17 errors (Raiders 13). That'd be one thing on the mind of the Penrith coach, when he said his team were not at their best. Meanwhile, Ricky Stuart wouldn't be that happy with the Raiders' discipline. They conceded six penalties (Panthers two) and six set restarts (Panthers three).

The Panthers dominated the attacking statistics. They made more runs (185-170), running metres (1873-1394), post contact metres (491-535), kick return metres (235-140), metres per set (36-34), tackle breaks (37-28) and line breaks (6-3). The Raiders threw more offloads (14-9). The Panthers also had the much better kicking game. They produced 704 kicking metres from 22 kicks (Raiders 568 metres from 21 kicks) and three forced line drop outs (Raiders one). Nathan Cleary sure can kick.

The Raiders had to make more tackles (354-329) and missed more (37-28). The Panthers, however, posted more ineffective tackles (25-18) - and the effective tackle rates were not too different (Raiders 86.6 per cent, Panthers 86.1 per cent). The key defensive statistic was five tries conceded to two.

Memorable moments?

Early in the match, Jarrod Croker surpassed the career points tally of Andrew Johns, when converting Jack Wighton's try. He became the fourth highest point scorer in the history of the code in Australia. He followed up with a try of his own. That's some achievement. It is unfortunate that it did not happen on a better night for the Green Machine.

Both the Raiders tries were good tries, but won't be contenders for the try of the year. Croker's try was notable for the good, soft hands of Elliott Whitehead to set it up. As mentioned, Jack Wighton's try was the result of a typical strong run from the five eighth.

Best performers?

Josh Papalii. 15 runs for 120 metres, 31 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, four offloads, 28 tackles, 100 per cent tackle efficiency, no errors.

Hudson Young. 16 runs for 147 metres, 33 post contact metres, one line break, four tackle breaks, one off load, 36 tackles, 86 per cent tackle efficiency. Two errors and three penalties conceded were the negatives.

Jack Wighton. One try, 10 runs for 87 metres, one line break, four tackle breaks, one off load, 28 tackles, 85 per cent tackle efficiency, six kicks for 230 metres.

Top tacklers: Hudson Young 36, Josh Hodgson 35, Ryan James 30
Most metres gained: Hudson Young 147, Jordan Rapana 146, Bailey Simonsson 143

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2*
Bailey Simonsson 6
Jarrod Croker 6
Sebastian Kris 6
Jordan Rapana 6
Jack Wighton 7
George Williams 6
Josh Papalii 7
Josh Hodgson 6
Sia Soliola 6
Hudson Young 7
Elliott Whitehead 6
Ryan James 6

Ryan Sutton 6
Joseph Tapine 6
Tom Starling 5
Siliva Havili 5

* Played limited minutes.

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LastRaider
John Ferguson
Posts: 2062
Joined: March 31, 2018, 9:30 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by LastRaider »

GE, we lost by 20 points and your handing out 6’s and 7’s... come on.


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Seiffert82
Mal Meninga
Posts: 24376
Joined: March 17, 2007, 12:24 pm
Favourite Player: Bay56

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by Seiffert82 »

Taking a step back, Croker should have scored that try, so we had 3 absolutely genuine try scoring opportunities. Penrith jagged a freebie intercept at the end as Williams threw a spekkie. CNK off injured for most of the game.

To that end, I honestly don't think the 30-10 scoreline at all reflected how close the score should have been.
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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 135077
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: The NRL is just trolling us now, right?

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The NRL advised the Raiders yesterday that they have been issued with a breach notice - a $10,000 fine - due to the involvement of a Canberra trainer in a sideline scuffle at Panthers Stadium last Friday night. The Raiders have five business days to respond.

The scuffle was initiated by Panthers fullback Stephen Crichton, after he dragged Joe Tapine into the middle of a mob of Panthers players, who were celebrating a try. Tapine was standing on the sideline, minding his own business, waiting to enter the field.

The Raiders trainer did the wrong thing no doubt. He touched Tyrone May on the back, and then came in more direct contact with James Fisher-Harris. The NRL's rules on this are clear. There can't be any physical contact between a trainer and opposition players. But his intentions were good intentions. He was pretty clearly just hoping to help stop the scuffle.

And the NRL has clearly made a bad decision, in fining the Raiders $10,000.

Crichton was fined early in the week for initiating the scuffle. $1350. He was charged with contrary conduct, grade one.

The match review committee is responsible for laying judiciary charges. The NRL has a separate process for handling breaches of procedures by the clubs.

Separate processes, different decision makers. But the disparity between the punishments is downright ridiculous. The one responsible for initiating the scuffle received a slap on the wrist. The NRL came down very hard on the Raiders, in comparison.

They issued a $10,000 to the Raiders in the full knowledge of the amount of Crichton's fine. That's the mind boggling thing. A commensurate penalty for the Raiders might have been a warning, a stern letter. Maybe a $1350 fine.

It's an appalling decision from the NRL.

The Panthers have appropriately come under fire from sections of the media after Friday's game and the Crichton incident. It has encapsulated the arrogant attitude of a young team that hasn't won anything yet.

Daily Telegraph journalist Paul Crawley said this about the Crichton incident on NRL 360 earlier this week:

"There’s 12-year olds that behave better than that."

That pretty much sums it up.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is the one who is setting down the standards on this for his team. They are following his lead. His response was: "I’m just a bit confused as to what’s the problem. I don’t really know."

The response of Raiders CEO Don Furner to that was scathing:

"Ivan Cleary should teach his players some humility. We all understand coaches stand up for their players, but him trying to justify that behaviour is ludicrous."

"He has three or four players in his team that carry on like mug lairs. Their five-eighth has been pushing players in the back and running in as the third man for a while now."

"I can’t believe that is the example the Panthers want to set for young kids watching and playing the game. If they think that behaviour is acceptable they are kidding themselves."

Fair enough comment from Don.

All that said, my main concern is with the NRL's decision making processes. Yet again, they've come up with a dud decision on the penalties for Crichton and the Raiders.

Hopefully the Raiders challenge the breach notice. It should be overturned.

*****

There is no team currently in the competition that has a worse win rate against the Raiders at Canberra Stadium than the Eels.

Canberra has won 18 of the 22 matches played against Parramatta in the nation's capital. That's a win rate for the Raiders of 82 per cent. Only the Raiders' record against the Knights (73 per cent) and the Dragons (72 per cent) come close.

The Raiders are now on a nine game winning streak at Canberra Stadium against the Eels - with Parramatta not having won at the venue since 2006. That's their only win in Canberra in the past two decades.

Parramatta clearly don't like coming and they try to avoid it in the draw. It is no surprise. They suffered their biggest ever loss at the ground - a 68-0 defeat back in 1993. That match is known not only for the score, but for the season ending injury for Ricky Stuart, which cruelled Canberra's premiership chances that year. There have been other hammerings for the Eels at the ground too, with the Raiders hitting 50 points in both 1995 and 2003.

The Raiders didn't have a bad record at Seiffert Oval either, with Canberra winning four of seven games played at the ground.

That translates to a 76 per cent win rate at home against the Eels.

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When did it all start? Back in Round 16 of 1983. The Eels had defeated Canberra by huge scores in their previous three meetings. The 54-3 defeat from 1982 still ranks as one the worst losses in the Raiders' history. When the Eels came to Seiffert in 1983, they were on their way to a third straight premiership, after back to back grand final wins in 1981-82. But in one of the greatest upsets in rugby league history, the Raiders held Parramatta scoreless, the first time in 18 years, and toughed out an 8-0 victory in front of 15,578 fans.

Ron Giteau scored all the points for the Raiders that day – a try and two penalty goals. The Raiders led 4-0 at half time through two penalty goals. During the break, coach Furner asked the team if they could continue to stifle the Eels in the second half.

"To a man, they all shouted ‘yes’!" Furner said later.

The only points in the second period came from the Giteau try, scored at the 47 minute mark. The Raiders just smothered Parramatta for the rest of the match.

The Eels were without Peter Sterling and Eric Grothe on Test duty, but the Raiders were missing captain Allan McMahon, Jon Hardy and regular fullback Steve O’Callaghan.

The next day, the headlines in Sydney read "Eels humbled by discards" and "Eels stunned".

Second rower John McLeod later recalled: "I remember we beat Parramatta 8-0 around the time that Irishman Bobbie Sands died [in jail from a hunger strike]. In the sheds after the game one of us yelled out, 'What’s Parramatta and Bobbie Sands got in common? Ate nothing, ate nothing!'"

Hooker Jay Hoffman said later of the match: "I don’t think there would have been too many better wins from a club point of view. It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t because they were missing their stars, we just played better footy."

Halfback that day, Chris O'Sullivan recalled: "That would be the pick of them in the early years. We just went out and got stuck straight into them. We knocked them around severely, we really gave them a bashing. We were in their faces. They didn’t cross our try line and never looked like it either."

I wouldn't mind if the score line this Saturday night was eight - nothing. I wouldn't mind that at all.

1983 Round 16 – Canberra Raiders 8 (Ron Giteau try; Ron Giteau 2 goals) defeated Parramatta 0 at Seiffert Oval.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Gary Wurth 2. Terry Fahey 3. Ron Giteau (c) 4. Craig Bellamy 5. Ray Blacklock 6. Percy Knight 7. Chris O'Sullivan 8. Ashley Gilbert 9. Paul Elliott 10. John McLeod 11. David Grant 12. Jay Hoffman 13. Gary Spears

14. Angel Marina 15. Ian Hamilton

Coach: Don Furner


*****

I have to admit, I'm concerned that the Raiders winning streak in Canberra against Parramatta might come to an end on Saturday night. Both teams are coming off losses and will be looking to bounce back. The Raiders are favourites, but to be honest, I'm surprised by that - particularly given the news that Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will be on the sidelines. The Eels have lost their five eighth, Dylan Brown, to suspension - but overall, they have been in better form this season. That's what most of the numbers show. The heart says Raiders at home, but the numbers suggest that this will be a narrow win for the Eels. Hopefully, the Raiders prove that wrong.

The Raiders' NSW Cup team plays Eels in the warm up match at Canberra Stadium on Saturday evening. So make sure you get out to the ground early. Gates open at 5:05pm with kick off in NSW Cup at 5:15pm.

The Raiders also play in Week 1 of the SG Ball finals on Saturday afternoon - at HE Laybutt Field at Blacktown. The Raiders finished fourth, and meet the fifth placed Bulldogs. Unfortunately, the NSWRL is not providing a live stream of any of the junior reps finals this weekend.

Don't forget, the 2021 Canberra Raiders Cup is back underway. There will be a live stream of the Round 2 clash between the Sharks and Bulls at Bruce Oval - that's the old Raiders HQ - on Saturday via www.bartvsports.com.au. Kick off is at 3:00pm on Saturday. You could check in there on your way to Canberra Stadium for the Raiders V Eels. It is just down the road!

*****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here is the points tally after the Round 5 loss to the Panthers. Tell us what you think of the ratings!

Total points

Ryan Sutton 37
Josh Papalii 36
Jordan Rapana 35
Elliott Whitehead 34
George Williams 34
Jack Wighton 33
Josh Hodgson 33
Bailey Simonsson 31
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 31
Sia Soliola 31
Hudson Young 30
Ryan James 30
Siliva Havili 28
Sebastian Kris 27
Joe Tapine 24
Jarrod Croker 18
Curtis Scott 17
Dunamis Lui 15
Tom Starling 15

Average points per match

Hudson Young 7.5
Ryan Sutton 7.4
Josh Papalii 7.2
Jordan Rapana 7.0
Elliott Whitehead 6.8
George Williams 6.8
Jack Wighton 6.6
Josh Hodgson 6.6
Bailey Simonsson 6.2
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 6.2
Sia Soliola 6.2
Jarrod Croker 6.0
Joe Tapine 6.0
Ryan James 6.0
Curtis Scott 5.7
Siliva Havili 5.6
Sebastian Kris 5.4
Dunamis Lui 5.0
Tom Starling 5.0

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greeneyed
Don Furner
Posts: 135077
Joined: January 7, 2005, 4:21 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by greeneyed »

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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“It was disappointing, we had a massive crowd and every reason to make them proud of us. We embarrassed ourselves in front of what could have been a night to make them proud of our effort and the team they support. But I feel sorry for them and I feel sorry for Caleb Aekins. He didn’t deserve that tonight. I thought Caleb was good. He gave us a lot of opportunity in shapes of attack. We had about seven or eight opportunities to score a try in the first half, to a couple, and we didn't take those opportunities and that really hurt us in the first half. But it was a completely different story in the second half.

100 per cent we were [out enthused], not the team, individuals. Don’t put everybody in that category. It's individuals there leaning on others, individuals there waiting for someone else to do it, individuals there who are happy putting on an NRL jumper and are thinking they’re an NRL player. There’s other individuals there who I feel really sorry for because they’re having a red-hot crack and they're not getting supported.

I’m disappointed with myself in regards to not having Seb Kris on the bench tonight. I stuffed up. I should’ve learned from last week, but I’ve been carrying Tommy because I wanted to get Tommy on the field at some stage for different types of reasons. Seb Kris will be in the 17 next week somewhere, whether he's starting centre or on the bench, he'll be somewhere. I’m carrying Liva because he’s been covering me as an edge back-rower but he’s been one of my stronger middles. Tommy Starling when he comes on is dynamic around the ruck. If you don’t get an outside back injured, I’m pretty happy with the balance of my bench. You might put an outside back on the bench next week and he doesn’t get a start. Sometimes it’s a bit of luck, but I was **** with myself as soon as Bailey went down. Some days it works, some days it doesn't.

There’s a number of individuals who are letting the team down and once they understand the hard cold truth of it all... and/or I’ve got to find someone else. Hopefully that’s it and there’s an improvement, but it’s hard to take."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart


2021 Round 6. Parramatta Eels 35 - Canberra Raiders 10. It was embarrassing. It was another big test for the Raiders against a real contender and again they did not pass. If the loss to the Panthers was a reality check, the loss to the Eels was a smack around the head.



The Raiders were impacted, no doubt, by the loss of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Not so much in terms of metres gained. Caleb Aekins had a good game, and contributed plenty of metres. But losing Nicoll-Klokstad has probably impacted the Raiders' defence. Fullbacks are crucial in organising defences - and it is not easy for anyone to step into that role.

The Raiders were also affected by the loss of Bailey Simonsson - because it required a back line shuffle, for the second week in a row. It meant Elliott Whitehead again had to be shifted into centre, and these days, I'm not sure he's able to handle that position. It is unfair on him to expect it, in my view.

Ricky Stuart said that he should have learned a lesson from last week, and included an outside back - Sebastian Kris - on the bench. A lot of teams don't carry outside backs on their bench - so, it is a bit of bad luck that one has been sorely needed two weeks in a row.

The problem is, however, that Tom Starling has also been needed on the bench. And that's because Josh Hodgson is not in form. He's been showing some great signs at times. Last night he made a great run down the middle, while the Eels defence retreated, setting up George Williams for a try. But he is not combining well with his halves. His service to them is slow, or doesn't happen at all. Too often last night, he took the wrong options. And that is affecting the contributions that George Williams and Jack Wighton can make. The spine is simply not gelling at present. There were opportunities in the first half that the Raiders did not convert. But they sure dried up in the second half. And while Tom Starling has been available on the bench in the past month, he's been brought on too late, and has been underutilised.

Another problem is strike in the outside backs. Caleb Aekins made almost 200 metres with the ball last night, while Jordan Rapana contributed 160 odd. The other players in the back five didn't come close to breaking 100 metres. Rapana is always looking to be involved, but he also produced a couple of crucial errors - one in the opening couple of minutes which led to the Eels' first try. He's also in the unfamiliar left wing position - and while he scored one try, he wasn't able to convert a couple of opportunities. I struggle to see why he's not on the right.

Last night, the Raiders' vaunted forward pack was again out-played, for the second week in a row. Prior to the Panthers match, we were hearing that the Raiders believed they have one of the best packs in the competition. They've had a wake up call the past two games.

One of the problems is Canberra's kicking game. Nathan Cleary and Mitchell Moses are superb tactical kickers - and can kick long and short. They find the grass, they kick over the heads of the opposition. The Raiders' long kicking game is nowhere near as effective. It means the Raiders are often battling to get off their own line, to get out of their own red zone. The pack isn't compensating at the moment.

Josh Papalii has started the season slowly. He often does, but I'm not sure that boxing training in the pre season has had a good effect. Isaiah Papali'i easily broke Papalii's tackle last night to score the Eels' first try. He's still producing good numbers - and he and Sutton were among the best Raiders forwards against the Eels. The bigger problem was that the Raiders did not get enough impact from the bench. The Raiders missed Ryan James last night, big time. Father time seems to be catching up with Sia Soliola. And if Tom Starling is in the team, Siliva Havili should not be - as there are better middle and edge forward options in the NSW Cup team.

That's a long list of problems. The attack is blunt and clunky. The defences have been disrupted at times - but the Raiders have now conceded 30 points or more in three games, including the past two matches. Some of the problems are going to be very difficult for coach Ricky Stuart to handle - particularly in terms of selection decisions for next week. You don't want to create too much disruption to your team, and I doubt Ricky Stuart will be making any mass changes. But changes are certainly needed.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders had a better than even share of possession in the first half, but just 40 per cent of the territory. And possession swung heavily in favour of the Eels in the second half (58 per cent possession share). The Eels ended with 54 per cent of the ball and 56 per cent of the territory. That translates into almost five more minutes with the ball for the Eels. The Raiders made more errors (14-10) and completed at just 75 per cent (Eels 81 per cent). The Eels conceded more penalties (3-1) and set restarts (5-4), but didn't seem to make much difference.

The Eels dominated the attacking statistics. Parramatta made more runs (186-165), running metres (1761-1415), post contact metres (573-500), kick return metres (192-168), metres per set (38-35), tackle breaks (30-20) and line breaks (7-4). The Raiders threw more offloads (8-4). The Eels made more kicking metres (691-652) from the same number of kicks (25) - and they also produced one line drop out (Raiders none).

Both teams posted an effective tackle rate of 91 per cent. But the Raiders had to make many more tackles (381-333) and missed more tackles (30-20). Again, however, the key defensive statistic was tries conceded (Raiders six, Eels two).

Memorable moments?

There was not much joy for the Raiders. The best try was scored by George Williams - which was set up by great runs down the middle from Caleb Aekins and Josh Hodgson. Good passing set up Rapana for the other Raiders try. The best moment in defence came with 12 minutes remaining in the first half - with Bailey Simonsson and Caleb Aekins holding up Sivo over the line.

Best performers?

Ryan Sutton. 18 runs for 153 running metres, 55 post contact metres, 45 tackles, 94 per cent tackle efficiency.

Caleb Aekins. 20 runs for 196 running metres, 96 kick return metres, 59 post contact metres, three tackle breaks, two tackles, one a try saver, no errors.

Josh Papalii. 13 runs for 129 metres, 51 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, two offloads, 36 tackles. The blot was the try cause.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 53, Hudson Young 50, Ryan Sutton 45
Most metres gained: Caleb Aekins 196, Jordan Rapana 161, Ryan Sutton 153

My player ratings:

Caleb Aekins 7
Bailey Simonsson 4
Jarrod Croker 4
Curtis Scott 4
Jordan Rapana 6
Jack Wighton 6
George Williams 6
Josh Papalii 6
Josh Hodgson 5
Ryan Sutton 7
Hudson Young 6
Elliott Whitehead 5
Joe Tapine 6

Sia Soliola 4
Tom Starling 4
Siliva Havili 3
Emre Guler 6

Do you agree with the ratings? Let us know what you think!

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radicalraider
Clinton Schifcofske
Posts: 599
Joined: August 4, 2014, 12:06 am
Favourite Player: croker

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by radicalraider »

Croker 3
Scott 3
Rapana 5
Soliola 3
Havili 4
Whitehead 4
Wighton 5
Bay53
Gary Belcher
Posts: 6406
Joined: March 11, 2007, 9:35 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by Bay53 »

Pretty good summary in my opinion.
LastRaider
John Ferguson
Posts: 2062
Joined: March 31, 2018, 9:30 pm

Re: Through green eyes 2021

Post by LastRaider »

GE, any chance you can email this summary to Ricky?

Nice summary today


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