REECE WINS BROTHERLY BATTLE
He was primed for a huge performance against twin brother Reece, but Panthers winger Travis Robinson was dragged from the field by coach Ivan Cleary after just 20 minutes. Travis was terrorised by Raiders skipper Terry Campese’s kicking game, dropping two bombs which led to Canberra’s first two tries. To add salt to the wound Raiders fullback Reece was the benefactor for Canberra’s second four-pointer. He returned for the second half but it’s not often a winger gets substituted, souring the former Queanbeyan Kangaroo’s return to the capital. On the flip side Reece was superb, earning the man-of-the-match award.EARL RESPONDS TO CONTROVERSY
After a Channel Nine report alleged Sandor Earl had used peptides to recover from an injury at Penrith in 2011, many wondered where the Raiders winger was mentally ready to play. But his first touch of the ball dispelled any doubts he was up to the task against his former side. The Panthers looked set to force a drop out in the early minutes, but Earl evaded three defenders to run 40 metres down field. It was just the settler he needed. He finished the game with 125 running metres to confirm his head was right in the game.HOOKER HAVOC
Canberra dominated early to build a 12-0 lead, but Penrith hit back hard when they opted to play rakes James Segeyaro and Kevin Kingston at the same time midway through the first half. It was a ploy which caused Canberra’s big pack all sorts of headaches in the Raiders’ 32-10 round one loss at Penrith. Their impact got the visitors back into the game, and they may have provided the blueprint to the NRL heavyweights on how to beat the Raiders.PENALTY PANIC
Canberra coach David Furner was fuming after his side was on the wrong end of a 9-4 penalty count in last week’s win over Brisbane. He may be on the phone to referees boss Daniel Anderson again after the Raiders were smashed 11-5 in the penalty count against Penrith. It’s long been a bug bear of the Raiders, and Furner regularly insists his side isn’t ill-disciplined. The issue is the only thing which has stopped them putting huge scores on the Broncos and Panthers the past fortnight.DE-FENCE, DE-FENCE
They’re renowned more for their attack, but it was Canberra’s defence which provided the backbone of Saturday’s win. According to NRL Stats, the Raiders missed just four tackles in the entire game, compared to Penrith’s 25. It’s a remarkable statistic for a side who can concede some big scores at times. It’s the most encouraging aspect to come out of the match as they look to continue their surge toward the top four.
CANBERRA RAIDERS 24 (Blake Ferguson, Reece Robinson, Josh McCrone, Paul Vaughan tries; Jarrod Croker 4 goals) bt PENRITH PANTHERS 12 (David Simmons 2 tries; Luke Walsh 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night. Crowd: 9176. Referees: Ben Cummins and Adam Gee.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.