Canberra Raiders pack should claim for overtime after Green Machine reduced to 14 men against Warriors
Canberra Raiders forwards Josh Papalii, Ryan Sutton and Siliva Havili all played for around 70 minutes of last Saturday's clash with the New Zealand Warriors - after the Green Machine was reduced to just 13 fit players.
Joe Tapine suffered ankle ligament damage in the 10th minute and was forced from the field. Ryan James and Sebastian Kris followed a few minutes later, after clashing heads in a tackle. Both were ruled out with concussion. Centre Curtis Scott was forced to keep playing, despite suffering serious rib damage.
In 2020, Josh Papalii averaged just over 50 minutes on the field, while Ryan Sutton averaged 45 and Siliva Havili averaged 35.
On Saturday, however, they could barely take a spell. Sutton played for 73 minutes, Papalii played for 69 and Havilli for 67. Sutton made an incredible 200 running metres and 51 tackles, while Papalii clocked up 209 metres and 31 tackles.
Ryan Sutton says it has been quite a while - and "a few kilos less" - since he last played for that long in a game.
"It was one of those games where if anyone had to play a full game I would have," Sutton said.
"Once there was 14, we were all under the pump, playing out of position. It just shows what character we've got in the team."
"The chemistry and the camaraderie that we have in the team, everyone works for each other and wants to do it."
"It was just unfortunate not to get the two points, and not to have Rapa score in that left hand corner."
"We can take a lot of positives from it."
Sutton suffered a gash over his eye on Saturday... and celebrated his try while blood was streaming down his face.
"I thought I was sweating and I felt something came down my eye and then I looked and it was blood," he said.
"It's part and parcel of the game. You play against big physical sides like the Warriors and you're going to get little scratches. Just take it on the chin."
For a good part of the clash with the Warriors, the Raiders had their three top hookers on the field - Josh Hodgson, Tom Starling and Siliva Havili.
Havili says that's the first time that's happened in his career.
"It was different but it was exciting too, just a bit of speed with Tommy coming on, bringing a bit of spark," Havili said.
"I wasn't really playing at dummy half. Hodgy and Tommy were. We all work well together."
"[I'm] physically still sore. There was a lot to learn and take out of that game. The boys dug deep right through the whole 80 minutes. The boys will be pretty sore today, so we'll get a bit of recovery and get ready for next week."
Havili says the focus is already on next Saturday's clash with the Titans.
"They're definitely a different squad to the previous years," he said.
"Bigger builds, they've got some strike on the edge with David Fifita."
"It's definitely going to be a challenge for us. The main thing for us is to freshen up our bodies from the weekend's game, look after our bodies and get ready for the Titans."
A report for The Greenhouse
Jarrod Croker says Canberra Raiders beaten but far from broken
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck may have denied his side what would have ranked among their all-time greatest wins but Raiders captain Jarrod Croker still left Canberra Stadium in a buoyant mood on Saturday.
"It’s tough to swallow but you look on the flip side, it’s round three," Croker said. "The effort we put in, you look over at the bench after 15 minutes and Starlo’s [Tom Starling] the only player there so it’s a massive effort."
Read more: https://www.nrl.com/news/2021/03/28/cro ... om-broken/
VIDEO: Siliva Havili and Ryan Sutton speak about the performance against the Warriors and the character shown by the side: https://www.raiders.com.au/news/2021/03 ... character/
Sia Soliola stands with Mose Masoe: https://www.raiders.com.au/news/2021/03 ... with-mose/
PLAY OF THE WEEK: Elliott Whitehead try: https://www.raiders.com.au/news/2021/03 ... ehead-try/
MATCH GALLERY: Raiders v Warriors: https://www.raiders.com.au/news/2021/03 ... -warriors/