Through green eyes 2018

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

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TongueFTW
Peter Jackson
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by TongueFTW » August 6, 2018, 9:37 am

I am convinced more than ever we have serious fitness issues. Remember we had the Warriors, a team notorious for its lack of fitness, run over the top of us in the last 5 minutes. You cannot have this happen again and again without it being a fundamental issue with fitness.

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reptar
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by reptar » August 6, 2018, 10:07 am

4 is generous for Paulo. He's lucky not to get negative ratings
Gina Riley: Oh, come on, John. That’s a bit old hat, the corrupt IOC delegate.
John Clarke: Old hat? Gina, in the scientific world when they see that something is happening again and again and again, repeatedly, they don’t call it old hat. They call it a pattern.

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-PJ-
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by -PJ- » August 6, 2018, 10:16 am

When is Paul Crawley going to stop defending his good friend Ricky Stuart in the media and call him out on some glaring issues which are 100% his doing ?

Can somebody out there in rugby league land question our coach on a very very poor 2yrs since a preliminary final appearance ?

How can this squad of blokes continue to make the same mistakes for 2yrs ?

I want something done..
3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment..Old Faithful
#emptythetank :shock:
20/7/18 Shark Park - a dark day in rugby league.

LastRaider
Chris O'Sullivan
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Through green eyes 2018

Post by LastRaider » August 6, 2018, 10:38 am

TongueFTW wrote:I am convinced more than ever we have serious fitness issues. Remember we had the Warriors, a team notorious for its lack of fitness, run over the top of us in the last 5 minutes. You cannot have this happen again and again without it being a fundamental issue with fitness.
I think it was at the beginning of the season but now it is just lack of belief and laziness.


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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » August 13, 2018, 8:59 am

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"It killed us, being 16-0 when Joey came back onto the field and for us to hang in there and get back into the game I thought was a really big effort. I know I'm going to get the effort every week no matter what the situation that's why I enjoy coaching them because they're giving 100% at every moment. That's why you still get 14,500 people out here supporting them because they know they've got a lot of ticker and they're playing for the jumper and that's something in the culture. But still it doesn't subtract from any of the disappointment...

It's not an excuse but it's been a factor of our season, Josh is as important to us as Cameron Smith is to Melbourne and we've had 14 weeks of having to put up with that. Losing our fullback, which is no fault of anybody but ours and Jack's, again that's your Billy Slater to your Melbourne. That's why they're hanging around the top four and we're around 10th, they've been two massive blows to us."


Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

Round 22 2018. Wests Tigers 22 - Canberra Raiders 20. Yet another narrow loss. And it was the end of any mathematical possibility that the Raiders could make the finals, with three rounds of the regular season left. It was the fifth game in 2018 lost by two points or less. It was the seventh game lost by four points or less. That's the difference between a share of 10th place and the competition lead. The Raiders ultimately lost the match in the first 20 minutes, conceding three tries and 16 points while Joey Leilua was in the sin bin. The Raiders came back, and reduced the deficit to just two points with 15 minutes to go. But ill discipline and error in the final stages meant the team were unable to post a winning try in the final stages.



The Raiders were again disrupted by injury, with Aidan Sezer (hamstring) a late withdrawal, forcing Blake Austin back to the halves and Elliott Whitehead to centre. But the Raiders still had enough opportunities to win the game. They are the No. 1 attacking team in the competition. No other team has scored more points or tries. As I pointed out last week, the Raiders have scored enough points to be a top four team - despite the serious injury disruptions faced this year. But they are a bottom four team in defence. Defence, ill discipline and error. Those are the reasons the Raiders have again missed the finals.

In the past decade, the Raiders have made the finals just three times. Just once in the past six years. It is the worst performed period in Raiders history. The Canberra District Rugby League took back ownership of the Canberra Raiders in 2002. Since then, the Raiders have now missed the finals in more years than they have made them.

On Saturday, coach Ricky Stuart said that there will be a review of the season and it won't be a "fluffy" one. It'll follow the "brutal" review conducted after last season.

"We'll do a thorough review of the whole football department. It won't be a fluffy review where it makes people feel good. We'll be doing a review to make sure we're finding areas that we need to fix, areas where we have to sit down and focus on in regards to getting right. In saying that, we've got a very good football department, you can see what we can do in our attack... There's not a lot to fix."

I'd like to think there's not a lot to fix. However, given the Raiders have continued to be plagued by the same problems for the past two years, those problems are clearly proving pretty difficult to fix. Changes in playing personnel in 2019 should help - the addition of some more mobile forwards, for a start.

But clearly the organisation is under-performing as a whole and has been for a long time. There are many good things that have recently been achieved by the Raiders, including the build up in memberships, increased involvement in the community and charity, and the presentation of matches on game day. But three finals appearances in a decade underlines that the whole club - not just the football department - needs a "root and branch" review. Hopefully, the Raiders owners and board will act, quickly. The future of rugby league in the region depends on it.



Stats that mattered? On the whole, the Raiders had the statistical advantage in this match... but not on the final scoreboard. The Raiders finished with a 53 per cent possession share, despite barely touching the ball in the early stages of the match. The Raiders had the better completion rate (84 per cent- 82 per cent), made fewer errors (5-8), but did concede more penalties (10-9). Both teams had 38 sets. However, the Raiders made more runs (185-151), made more metres gained with the ball in hand (1621m-1508m) and produced more post contact metres (575m-511m) than the Tigers. The Tigers made more kicking metres (482m-399m).

The Tigers had to make more tackles (368-292) and missed a whopping 50 tackles in the match (compared with 36 for the Raiders). The tackle efficiency rates for both teams were poor, but the Tigers were were clearly worse. But the Raiders kept missing tackles that counted, with the Tigers making 10 in the match, compared with six for the Raiders. Canberra made more offloads (13-6), but that, and the other statistical advantages, didn't count for much in the end.

Memorable moments? There were quite a few, and some were not of a good kind. Like Brad Abbey throwing the ball over the sideline, with the Raiders on the attack, desperately searching for a winning try. Or Blake Austin inverting a Tigers player in a tackle, the visitors trapped on their goal line with three minutes remaining. It wasn't dangerous, but... Penalties for back chat, a head high tackle, as the Raiders sought to bridge a two point deficit in the final stages.

But there were some very good moments from the Raiders as well. There were some terrific offloads in the lead up to Joey Leilu's try in the 60th minute, starting the Raiders' charge back into the match in the second half. The best Raiders try came shortly after, with a stunning angled run from Joe Tapine, which saw him go over in the corner. It was the second of two tries for Tapine, both the result of his power running. Nick Cotric had a couple of problems in the last line of defence. It was a tough day for him, given the number of line breaks being made by the Tigers up field. But he produced a stunning try saver just before half time on Esan Marsters... and with some help from Blake Austin and Elliott Whitehead, put him over the sideline. That was the best moment for the Raiders in defence.

Best performers?

Joe Tapine. Two tries, 15 runs for 152 metres, 30 post contact metres, 10 tackle breaks, three line breaks, three off loads, 29 tackles.

Josh Papalii. One try, 18 runs for 172 metres, 64 post contact metres, five tackles breaks, one line break assist, one off load, 38 tackles. The blot on the copy book was seven missed tackles.

Jordan Rapana. 20 runs for 174 metres, 61 post contact metres, eight tackle breaks, one line break, two offloads, five tackles.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 44, Josh Papalii 38, Joe Tapine 29, Shannon Boyd 29.
Most metres gained: Jordan Rapana 174, Josh Papalii 172, Joe Tapine 152.

My player ratings:

Nick Cotric 7
Brad Abbey 4
Elliott Whitehead 5
Joey Leilua 6
Jordan Rapana 7
Blake Austin 6
Sam Williams 5
Dunamis Lui 5
Josh Hodgson 7
Shannon Boyd 5
Joseph Tapine 9
Sia Soliola 5
Josh Papalii 8

Junior Paulo 5
Siliva Havili 5
Luke Bateman 5
Jack Murchie dnp

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RedRaider
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by RedRaider » August 13, 2018, 10:37 am

What was Lui's rating GE? I thought a 6. I just cannot see how Austin is rated better than Sam Williams unless there is a WWE bonus in the guidelines. He fair dinkum killed all momentum, twice in the closing minutes when we still had a chance to win the match. Once with the positioning for the power slam and once with the 'chip and chase' that simply handed the ball back to the Tigers. The first part of a 'chip and chase' is that the ball is kicked into an open space. Fail.

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zim
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by zim » August 13, 2018, 10:50 am

Would have been great to see Havili get more than 19 minutes:
104m (48 post contact), 3 tackle breaks, 1 offload. That's quite a little stint.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » August 13, 2018, 12:32 pm

RedRaider wrote:
August 13, 2018, 10:37 am
What was Lui's rating GE? I thought a 6. I just cannot see how Austin is rated better than Sam Williams unless there is a WWE bonus in the guidelines. He fair dinkum killed all momentum, twice in the closing minutes when we still had a chance to win the match. Once with the positioning for the power slam and once with the 'chip and chase' that simply handed the ball back to the Tigers. The first part of a 'chip and chase' is that the ball is kicked into an open space. Fail.
I went a 5 Red.
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Green eyed Mick
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by Green eyed Mick » August 13, 2018, 7:55 pm

RedRaider wrote:
August 13, 2018, 10:37 am
What was Lui's rating GE? I thought a 6. I just cannot see how Austin is rated better than Sam Williams unless there is a WWE bonus in the guidelines. He fair dinkum killed all momentum, twice in the closing minutes when we still had a chance to win the match. Once with the positioning for the power slam and once with the 'chip and chase' that simply handed the ball back to the Tigers. The first part of a 'chip and chase' is that the ball is kicked into an open space. Fail.
Austin was trash. From the warm-up, where he is the only bloke not wearing the official warm up shirt through to the final whistle he is a one man band.

Someone needs to remind this **** that Rugby League is a team sport.

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-TW-
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by -TW- » August 13, 2018, 8:09 pm

I cracked it when he got the **** on half time cause he wasn't passed the ball 5m from the sideline

**** off you flog

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-GD-
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by -GD- » August 13, 2018, 8:27 pm

Green eyed Mick wrote:
RedRaider wrote:
August 13, 2018, 10:37 am
What was Lui's rating GE? I thought a 6. I just cannot see how Austin is rated better than Sam Williams unless there is a WWE bonus in the guidelines. He fair dinkum killed all momentum, twice in the closing minutes when we still had a chance to win the match. Once with the positioning for the power slam and once with the 'chip and chase' that simply handed the ball back to the Tigers. The first part of a 'chip and chase' is that the ball is kicked into an open space. Fail.
Austin was trash. From the warm-up, where he is the only bloke not wearing the official warm up shirt through to the final whistle he is a one man band.

Someone needs to remind this **** that Rugby League is a team sport.
Did he do the thing in the warm up where he ran off the field while everyone else is shaking hands with each other?

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » August 20, 2018, 1:40 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"It was a good win, plenty of heart, still with players out and the way they rallied around and played for each other and played some really good football with 19 out of 19 sets in the first half. I keep telling the boys if your completions are good then it makes your defence easier, but we actually played well tonight. When you lose close games like that, as a coach I say to people 'this team's not far away' and a couple of people might believe me after that. This team isn't far away and sometimes you need a couple of things to go your way in a tight competition like this to help you."

"We've already got Jack (Wighton) out, Toots (Jarrod Croker) out, Aidan (Sezer) out and you take Luke Bateman and our second fill-in fullback... it's a wonderful effort, playing for the jumper. We talk about playing for the people in the stands, for the people who are here braving the conditions watching is. That's why I get so down frustrated and disappointed with losses because we want to win for them too."


Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

Round 23 2018. Canberra Raiders 14 - Sydney Roosters 12. The margin was again narrow, but this time it was in favour of the Raiders. The Raiders won despite the Roosters scoring two tries to one. It was a gritty performance from Canberra, determined. It was the sort of grinding victory that Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has been long searching for. The Roosters might not have been at their absolute best, but they are a team playing for a minor premiership - and they played well. Raiders fans were left scratching their heads... where has this Raiders team been all season?



The Raiders only try came in the first 10 minutes of the match. After that converted try, their only points came from penalty goals. They kept the Roosters scoreless in the first half, playing tight, controlled football. The Raiders completed every set in the first half, and ended the match with just two incomplete sets. They led 12-0 at half time, and withstood a Roosters comeback in the second stanza. Sam Williams broke a 12-12 deadlock with 10 minutes remaining, a long range penalty goal giving Canberra a 14-12 lead. When Siliva Havili knocked on, first tackle after the re-start, the Raiders fans were no doubt waiting for the fade in the final stages.. of the sort that's been seen repeatedly the past two seasons. But it didn't come. The Raiders stood firm for a memorable victory.

Stats that mattered? The Raiders completed at an extraordinary 94 per cent (Roosters 81 per cent) and finished with a 50 per cent possession share. The Canberra side made fewer errors than the Roosters (Roosters nine, Raiders four) and was the more disciplined (Roosters 10 penalties conceded, Raiders eight).

But the remarkable thing about the stats sheet is that the Roosters had the advantage in just about every other category. The Roosters made more runs (173-156), more metres gained (1707m-1537m), kick return metres (270m-190m) and slightly more post contact metres (613m-591m). The Raiders made more kicking metres (534m-512m). The Roosters made more line breaks (3-1), more tackle breaks (36-26) and slightly more offloads (6-5). The Roosters had the better effective tackle rate (Roosters 89.7 per cent, Raiders 88.6 per cent). The Roosters had to make more tackles (341-333) and missed fewer tackles than the Raiders (Raiders 36, Roosters 26). But despite all that, the Raiders were simply more determined to win.



Memorable moments? The Raiders produced a very good try, with a great pass from Brad Abbey setting up winger Jordan Rapana for a four pointer in the corner. But the most memorable of moments was a desperation tackle in the 74th minute. With Canberra clinging to a two point lead, the Roosters' Joseph Manu threatened to score out wide. But Sia Soliola had other ideas, launching himself at Manu, and taking him over the sideline. It was a try saver.

Best performers?

Josh Papalii. 15 runs for 156 metres, 62 post contact metres, four tackles breaks, three off loads, 33 tackles.

Josh Hodgson. Six runs for 32 metres, one tackle break, 43 tackles, 133 kicking metres.

Joe Tapine. Nine runs for 103 metres, 49 post contact metres, one tackle break, 35 tackles.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 43, Joe Tapine 35, Shannon Boyd 34.
Most metres gained: Josh Papalii 156, Sia Soliola 147, Shannon Boyd 125.

My player ratings:

Brad Abbey 6
Nick Cotric 6
Elliott Whitehead 6
Joey Leilua 6
Jordan Rapana 7
Blake Austin 6
Sam Williams 6
Dunamis Lui 6
Josh Hodgson 7
Shannon Boyd 7
Joseph Tapine 7
Sia Soliola 7
Josh Papalii 8

Emre Guler 6
Luke Bateman 6
Siliva Havili 6
Junior Paulo 6

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random raider
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by random raider » August 20, 2018, 2:21 pm

And im pretty sure Tapine had a injured hand had it strapped at about the 6th minutes and in the team song was nursing it but cant be to bad played the rest of game played will and as above numbers still good

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gangrenous
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by gangrenous » August 20, 2018, 5:50 pm

How do those scores on average compare to other games GE? Seems quite low for a game with 2 incomplete sets and knocking off team #1?

Not that I necessarily disagree, I didn’t see enough of the game to say either way. When combined with losing most of the stats it paints a picture of perhaps getting a bit lucky to end up with 2 points.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » August 20, 2018, 5:55 pm

gangrenous wrote:How do those scores on average compare to other games GE? Seems quite low for a game with 2 incomplete sets and knocking off team #1?

Not that I necessarily disagree, I didn’t see enough of the game to say either way. When combined with losing most of the stats it paints a picture of perhaps getting a bit lucky to end up with 2 points.
In total it’d be fairly high, because 6 was the lowest score. It reflects a good all round performance... but with few players really standing out.


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Green eyed Mick
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by Green eyed Mick » August 20, 2018, 6:03 pm

Williams was better than Austin.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » August 26, 2018, 1:33 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"I'm very excited about the quality of football and the way we won over the last two weeks. I know as a coach we've got that in us and we've got to get more of it for our fans and for us. But we've got to get more resilience and composure, which we showed is in us over the last two games.

"I've known it's in us, we work very hard, nobody sees the work we put in, towards those close losses we've had and there's nobody more disappointed than the players and myself. So, it's there for everybody to see that we've got it in us, we've got to have more of it.

"We've got a real brotherhood here and we've got a very special bond and a very special culture here at this club. Sometimes you fall off track, but we get back on track really quickly at this club. And it's a credit to what Josh (Hodgson) and Jarrod Croker's done as leaders, and we played for those boys today and it was lovely they could go out knowing they played their last game here and the three of them played really big parts in the win."


Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

Round 24 2018. Canberra Raiders 24 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 12. The Raiders defeated a minor premiership contender for the second week in a row - and in fine fashion. Canberra was missing Jarrod Croker, Aidan Sezer and Jack Wighton... but Canberra finally seems to have found a winning forumula. It was determined, courageous football from the Green Machine, in the final home game for Blake Austin, Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo.

The Rabbitohs started the match on fire, but Canberra controlled possession and gradually got themselves back into the contest. South Sydney's defence looked impenetrable in the first half, and Canberra was only able to find a try through kicking behind their line. The turning point came early in the second half, when Blake Austin took a quick penalty tap, and ran at an offside Jason Clark. Clark found himself in the sin bin and that's when the Raiders really took control of the match. Canberra kept the Rabbitohs scoreless and piled on three tries of their own. The Rabbitohs were not at their best, despite the return of three injured players, including captain Greg Inglis. But Canberra didn't allow them to be, either.



Stand in captain Josh Hodgson admitted that it was frustrating to see the Raiders beat two premiership contenders in successive weeks - the first top eight teams they have beaten all season - given the Green Machine is already out of finals contention.

"It obviously helps us looking forward to next season, but obviously it's frustrating because we know what we've got," Hodgson said after the match.

No team has scored more points or tries than the Raiders in season 2018 - and remarkably, they could be the only team in history to finish No. 1 in attack, but miss the finals. The Raiders have lost five games this year by two points or less and seven games by four points or less. If five games of those games had fallen the other way, the Raiders would be sitting in the top four. Frustrating indeed, not least because a team with so much potential has grappled with the same problems for the past two years.

The fundamental problem has been the defence. Canberra is currently a bottom four team for points and tries conceded. Hopefully, the Raiders are now on a path to addressing that issue in season 2019 - given the way the team has played the past two weeks and the changes in prospect for the squad.

Stats that mattered? The Raiders completed at 83 per cent, compared with just 64 per cent for the Rabbitohs. The Raiders made 11 errors, which is probably a little higher than coach Ricky Stuart would like to see. But the Rabbitohs produced a whopping 17 errors. They also conceded 10 penalties, compared with just six for the Raiders. As a result, Canberra ended the match with a 58 per cent share of possession.

The Raiders had more sets (42-33) and made more runs (186-154), more metres gained (1784m-1521m), more post contact metres (694m-508m) and more kicking metres (298m-266m). The Raiders made more line breaks (3-2), while offloads were fairly even (Raiders 11, Rabbitohs 12). The Raiders had the better effective tackle rate, with the Rabbitohs required to make more tackles (345-247) and missing just slightly more tackles than the Raiders (Rabbitohs 45, Raiders 43). It is a statistical dominance suggestive of a big Raiders win - with the first half defence of the Rabbitohs restricting an even bigger victory for the Green Machine.



Memorable moments? The Raiders produced four good tries, two to Michael Oldfield. The first, in the first half, was a remarkable effort - chasing a Josh Hodgson grubber and brilliantly grounding the ball just inside the dead ball line. With 15 minutes remaining, Blake Austin set up a hard running Sia Soliola for four points, with a great pass, the old double pump working beautifully. However, the best try was Michael Oldfield's second in the 54th minute. Josh Hodgson threw the perfect pass, Sia Soliola ran the perfect decoy, and Michael Oldfield just sailed through the Rabbitohs' defensive line. Absolutely perfect.

The Raiders' best defensive moment again belongs to Sia Soliola this week. Four minutes into the second half, Blake Austin hoisted the ball high, with Rabbitohs winger Campbell Graham waiting for an age underneath it. And then the second he caught it, the chasing Sia Soliola simply steamrolled him. We shouldn't forget another great defensive effort either... with just a couple of minutes remaining, Josh Hodgson, Josh Papalii, Luke Bateman and Sia Soliola combined to push the Rabbitohs back in goal an force a line drop out.

Best performers?

Josh Hodgson. Two try assists, six runs for 23 metres, nine post contact metres, one line break assist, 27 tackles, 20 kick metres.

Sia Soliola. One try, 15 runs for 131 metres, 40 post contact metres, three tackles breaks, one line break, 29 tackles.

Michael Oldfield. Two tries, eight runs for 90 metres, 39 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, one line break, 13 tackles.

Top tacklers: Sia Soliola 29, Elliott Whitehead 28, Josh Hodgson 27.
Most metres gained: Junior Paulo 191, Josh Papalii 173, Joey Leilua 152.

My player ratings:

Brad Abbey 4
Nick Cotric 7
Michael Oldfield 7
Joey Leilua 6
Jordan Rapana 6
Blake Austin 7
Sam Williams 5
Dunamis Lui 5
Josh Hodgson 8
Shannon Boyd 5
Sia Soliola 8
Elliott Whitehead 7
Josh Papalii 7

Emre Guler 6
Junior Paulo 7
Siliva Havili 5
Luke Bateman 6

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RedRaider
Gary Belcher
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by RedRaider » August 27, 2018, 1:59 pm

I'm sure you are trolling me GE. How does Austin score a 7 when he feeds a scrum and Souths come away with the ball?? How does any player feed a ball into a scrum and lose possession these days. Austin proved it can be done, in his last home match for the Raiders.
How does Havili only score a 5. He brought energy and post contact meters into the game. I know I am only using the eye test, but he was also aggressive in defence.
On another note, Sam Williams looked physically busted. Every time he ran back to our end after taking a shot at goal, he looked like he had back, hip, leg trouble or possibly all three.

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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » September 1, 2018, 6:24 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"It was a big effort for us to turn up here tonight and play with that desire and attitude. These last three games we’ve executed and fixed areas of our game but it's all been too late. People talk about the fact that 'I think it would be great to have you there [in the finals]'; You’re a team that can beat teams in the top eight'. But we're not [in the finals]. We've got to be realistic, we're not in the top eight and this time next year I want to be preparing to be in the top eight otherwise…you're sitting here disappointed you're not playing in the best part of the season.

"The last three games we knew we weren't going to be in the eight but unlike some other teams that were going out and getting flogged, and not turning up for their last one or two games, that's not in us. It's not in the jumper; it's not in these players here to give up. I'm still very, very disappointed in not making the playoffs but I'm very, very proud of the fact that I'm coaching who I'm coaching and got what I’ve got there. I know they're all in there [the changing sheds] very disappointed with the situation of not being in the playoffs. But we've got three boys who are leaving and they've helped us build a platform that we have to bounce off and build off for next season. I think we've learned a hell of a lot this year."


Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

Round 25 2018. New Zealand Warriors 20 - Canberra Raiders 16. The Canberra Raiders finished a disappointing season with another narrow loss. There have been eight losses in 2018 by four points or less, and four by two points or less. If just half of those games had fallen the other way, the Raiders would have been in finals contention... but instead they will place 10th. The Raiders were competitive throughout against the Warriors, with the scores level at 16-16 with 20 minutes remaining. They had the opportunities to win, with the Raiders crossing twice in the final stages - but the video referee correctly ruled no try on both occasions. It was ill discipline and some "little things" that cost them, Shaun Johnson kicking two penalty goals in the 66th and 70th minutes to win.



And so the season comes to an end for the Raiders. This is the last "As I saw it" for 2018... but I will produce a "Through green eyes" end of season review... and I'll reveal my top Canberra Raiders players of the year. Thanks to everyone who has read the "As I saw it" columns this season... and we'll be back in 2019... hopefully with some much better results to discuss!

Stats that mattered? The Raiders finished with 52 per cent possession, completing at 72 per cent (74 per cent for the Warriors). Both teams made nine errors each, but the Raiders conceded more penalties (10-6). The Warriors had more sets (35-32) and made more runs (148-122), more metres gained (1556m-1194m), more post contact metres (579m-514m). The Warriors also made more line breaks (3-2) and offloads (7-1). The Raiders ended with more kicking metres (538m-487m). The Warriors had much better effective tackle rate, with the Raiders missing 29 tackles of 303 required, while the Warriors missed just 10 of 312 required. That is a set of statistics which suggests a more dominant victory for the Warriors than they produced.



Memorable moments? The Raiders produced an extraordinary try to Elliott Whitehead in the 54th minute, with Jordan Rapana batting the ball back, while suspended in mid air - hovering over the sideline. The ball bounced awkwardly for the Warriors, allowing Whitehead to steam through and plant the ball in the in goal. In defence, there was no better moment than the tackle of Joey Leilua on Mason Lino two minutes just before half time. He just absolutely flattened the Warriors half.

Best performers?

Josh Papalii. 11 runs for 138 metres, 67 post contact metres, three tackle breaks, one line break, 46 tackles.

Josh Hodgson. Three runs for 23 metres, one try assist, one line break assist, 43 tackles.

Elliott Whitehead. One try, eight runs for 68 metres, two tackle breaks, one offload, 30 tackles.

Top tacklers: Josh Papalii 46, Josh Hodgson 43, Sia Soliola 32.
Most metres gained: Josh Papalii 138, Nick Cotric 130, Shannon Boyd 100.

My player ratings:

Brad Abbey 4
Nick Cotric 7
Michael Oldfield 5
Joey Leilua 5
Jordan Rapana 6
Blake Austin 5
Sam Williams 6
Dunamis Lui 6
Josh Hodgson 7
Shannon Boyd 6
Sia Soliola 6
Elliott Whitehead 7
Josh Papalii 8

Emre Guler 6
Junior Paulo 6
Siliva Havili 5
Luke Bateman 5

Do you agree or disagree with the ratings? Let us know!

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gangrenous
Bradley Clyde
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by gangrenous » September 1, 2018, 7:45 pm

Rapana hard done by imo.

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Begbie
Laurie Daley
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by Begbie » September 1, 2018, 8:33 pm

gangrenous wrote:
September 1, 2018, 7:45 pm
Rapana hard done by imo.
indeed he was.

RedRaider
Gary Belcher
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by RedRaider » September 1, 2018, 11:06 pm

GE, was Brad Abbey the worst player on the park for the Raiders? His 4 rating was the lowest given. I can only remember one knock on in the first half and that 'arm drape' over a shoulder called a high shot in the second half. No kicks out on the full. No forward passes.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » September 1, 2018, 11:17 pm

Red... I just expect much more of a fullback, I guess. I feel sorry for him, as he's being played in first grade when he's clearly not ready for it. The club is asking him to do a job, despite that and I'm sure he's doing his best. But he's not performing at that level.
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Green eyed Mick
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by Green eyed Mick » September 2, 2018, 8:29 am

Guler butchered the decoy on the Williams no try. It was a basic error and should be reflected in the ratings.

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Conor
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by Conor » September 2, 2018, 10:33 am

Green eyed Mick wrote:
September 2, 2018, 8:29 am
Guler butchered the decoy on the Williams no try. It was a basic error and should be reflected in the ratings.
Yep. It’s also the sort of decoy run Bateman gets right time and time again.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by greeneyed » September 7, 2018, 2:08 pm

Through green eyes: 2018 Season Review

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2018. Another failed season for the Canberra Raiders. The Raiders have now made the finals in just one of the past six seasons, three times in the past decade. If it is not the worst period in Canberra Raiders history, it is very close. Next year, it will be 25 years since the Raiders won their last premiership. Only the Eels have experienced a longer premiership drought. Sadly, for Canberra Raiders fans, there doesn’t seem to be much light at the end of the tunnel.

This season was always going to be tough, with star hooker Josh Hodgson on the sidelines for half the season with an ACL injury, suffered in England's World Cup semi final. And as it would turn out, another key player in the Raiders' spine, Jack Wighton, would also spend half the season on the sideline, suspended after he pleaded guity to assault charges.

A lot of Raiders fans would point to some very disappointing refereeing performances this season, as well. There were some horrible blunders in the close loss to the Sharks. It was not the only game where there were refereeing errors in close matches.

But other clubs have dealt with refereeing blunders. Other clubs have dealt with serious injury. And some of those teams are playing in the finals. The Raiders’ defence, discipline, and inability to consistently win in the clutch for much of the season were the reasons they did not make the top eight.

The most frustrating thing for the supporters... and no doubt the club and players... is that wins against the Roosters and Rabbitohs in the final stages of the season showed that the Raiders had a squad to compete in the finals. Up until Round 23, Canberra had not beaten a top eight team - but then produced their best wins of the season against minor premiership contenders.

The Raiders ended the season with eight losses by four points or less, and four losses by two points or less. The season started with three losses in a row by two points or less, less than a converted try in aggregate. It set the tone for the season. The Raiders were repeatedly in a position to win in the final stages... but buckled. They lost five games where they led by 10 points or more. They did win a couple of close ones themselves. There was an extraordinary come from behind win over the Bulldogs at Belmore in the final minutes. There was a one point win in the final minute over the Sea Eagles at Canberra Stadium. But there were many more close losses than wins.

****

So what do the statistics tell us about the season?

Canberra certainly scored enough points to be playing finals football. Only the Rabbitohs produced more points and more tries than the Raiders. They averaged 24 points and 3.9 tries per match. They were the leading attacking team with one round remaining - and came very close to being the only team in NRL history to miss the finals whilst scoring most points. They did end the year as the only bottom eight side with a positive points differential. But they also ended the year five wins away from top eight qualification.

The Raiders did not score a lot of tries because they made a lot of running metres. They average 1326 running metres per match from 145 runs, 15th in the NRL. In addition, Canberra had the lowest kick return metres in the league (just 58 metres on average per game). Canberra didn’t kick much either... and were third lowest in the NRL for kicking metres (380 metres per match) and last for forced line drop outs (one per game).

The Raiders scored tries through the strike of their outside backs. Canberra ranked second for tackle breaks (30 per match, behind the Dragons with 32) and third for line breaks (five per game). Nick Cotric (22), Jordan Rapana (17) and Joey Leilua (12) led the way for the club with line breaks, while Cotric (129), Leilua (84) and Rapana (81) led in tackle breaks. Cotric ranked first in the NRL in tackle breaks and third in line breaks.

The Raiders also created opportunities from their dummy half running - ranking second in the NRL (behind the Bulldogs) at an average of 13 per game. Jordan Rapana made four per game (fourth in the league behind Damien Cook, Issac Luke and Cameron McInnes).

One plus is that the Raiders successfully reduced their error rate. They ranked fifth in the NRL for least errors (10 per match) and fourth for completion rate (77 per cent). The Raiders were not a team that passed a lot. They ranked last in the NRL for general play passes (80 per match, compared with 125 per match from the Rabbitohs) and 11th in the NRL for offloads (nine per game).

Canberra’s biggest problem, though, was its defence. The Raiders ranked fifth in the league for most points (23 per match) and tries (3.6 per match) conceded. The Roosters were the benchmark team, conceding just 15 points and two tries per game. The Storm also concede less than 16 points per game. That’s the mark that has proven to win premierships in previous years - and underlines what improvement the Raiders have to make on this score.

The Raiders were middle of the pack for running metres conceded (1380m on average per game), so that has improved on recent years. They also improved on offloads conceded (nine per game), with only the Panthers and Warriors conceding less. The Raiders ranked eighth for fewest missed tackles. But they also ranked equal fourth for most line breaks conceded (five per game). Blake Austin and Joey Leilua were often targeted by opposition offences, with Austin conceding 19 try causes and 24 line break causes. Leilua conceded 17 try causes. It’s no doubt one reason why Austin is moving on in 2019.

Discipline was an area where the Raiders’ performance declined. Only the Panthers conceded more penalties than the Raiders in 2018 (Panthers 9.4 per game, Raiders 9.2). And too often the Raiders failed to defend an error or a penalty.

Defence and game management in the clutch are going to be the key areas where the Raiders need to improve in 2019. The Raiders will be better off in having Josh Hodgson and Jack Wighton available for the full season. But both of these areas have plagued the team for too long. The club is shifting to more mobile forwards, with the recruitment of John Bateman and Ryan Sutton - so that should help with some of the defensive lapses in the middle. But it looks like Canberra will still be short one top line half. Hopefully, some solutions are found in the off season.

SEASON REPORT CARD

Attack: A
Defence: C
Forwards: C
Backs: B
Spine: C
Overall: C

****

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and for mine, the Raiders player of the year is Josh Papalii. He returned from the World Cup unfit, and struggled for form in the opening month... so much so he was dropped to Mounties in Round 5. Happily, it proved the turning point and he produced some blockbuster performances.

Josh Hodgson averaged more points per game, but he played too few games to challenge Papalii as my player of the year. Joe Tapine also had great season, finishing top three for average points per game. However he only had 16 appearances due to a combination of injury and suspension.

Nick Cotric and Elliott Whitehead finished in the top three for total points, with both playing in every game, consistently well.

Here are the total points and average points per match for the year:

Total points:

Josh Papalii 162
Nick Cotric 156
Elliott Whitehead 156
Sia Soliola 151
Joey Leilua 147
Siliva Havilii 142
Jordan Rapana 139
Dunamis Lui 135
Blake Austin 128
Shannon Boyd 126
Luke Bateman 125
Joe Tapine 111
Junior Paulo 110
Jarrod Croker 103
Aidan Sezer 103
Jack Wighton 85
Josh Hodgson 79
Sam Williams 79
Michael Oldfield 42
Liam Knight 41
Brad Abbey 40
Ata Hingano 28
Charlie Gubb 20
Emre Guler 18
Jack Murchie 10

Average points per match:

Josh Hodgson 7.2
Josh Papalii 7.0
Joe Tapine 6.9
Jordan Rapana 6.6
Jack Wighton 6.5
Nick Cotric 6.5
Elliott Whitehead 6.5
Sia Soliola 6.3
Joey Leilua 6.1
Jarrod Croker 6.1
Shannon Boyd 6.0
Emre Guler 6.0
Siliva Havilii 5.9
Blake Austin 5.8
Junior Paulo 5.8
Aidan Sezer 5.7
Luke Bateman 5.7
Sam Williams 5.6
Dunamis Lui 5.6
Michael Oldfield 5.3
Jack Murchie 5.0
Liam Knight 4.6
Brad Abbey 4.4
Charlie Gubb 4.0
Ata Hingano 3.1

****

So that’s the last column of the year. I had to reduce my columns to one a week in the second half of the season, for reasons I won’t go into... but I’ll hopefully get back to normal in 2019. Thanks to all who’ve read the columns this year... and we have a much happier 2019!

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edwahu
Laurie Daley
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by edwahu » September 7, 2018, 5:20 pm

Thanks GE, good reads all year.

RedRaider
Gary Belcher
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by RedRaider » September 7, 2018, 10:59 pm

In 2018 we scored 93 tries and had 86 scored against us. In 2017 we scored 95 tries and had 84 scored against us. (Source: Big League magazine). In both years we finished 10th. Even without Hodgo for 14 weeks we only scored 2 fewer tries this year over last. Defensively we went backwards by 2 tries on the effort that was not good enough last year.

The players who have left the club should mean we will have improved defence in 2019. Austin was a target for opposition sides and poor against anyone with footwork as was Paulo. As always, injury, suspension and loss of form are critical to a seasons outcome. We don't yet know what penalty Jack Wighton will receive. If he is available then we stand a good chance of being at full strength to start the season in 2019. Will we start the season with a similar level of fitness to every other Club in the NRL or will Ricky continue to coach 'his way' meaning we will be behind the fitness 8 ball to start the season. Being run down 3 weeks in a row to start this season surely should be clear that we cannot afford to give opposition sides an advantage over us early in the season.

BJ needs one on one coaching in defensive decision making. Hopefully Mal will be available to go through the basics of decision making with him. Learning to take the man with the ball would be a good place to start. Sliding out and leaving gaping holes in the defensive line is not what NRL centres do. Taking the block runner after the ball has passed him is not what NRL centres do. Talking and listening so that the right side functions as a unit is really going to take a lot of coaching. BJ is brilliant with the ball but the Raiders problem is we are not a top defensive side like we need to be if we want to play deep into September.

Good write up as usual GE. Looking forward to reading your 'Through Green Eyes 2019'.

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Green Taipan
Clinton Schifcofske
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Re: Through green eyes 2018

Post by Green Taipan » September 9, 2018, 9:56 am

Always a great read GE!
It's a simple game; tackle, back-up, pass, hold the ball! What did I say? "Hold the bloody ball!!"
Gold member 2018

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