Canberra put a dent in Canterbury’s premiership aspirations with a dominant 34-6 win at Canberra Stadium in Round 25 last year.
In a performance that not only ended the Bulldogs’ 12-match unbeaten run, Canberra produced a slick outing in freezing conditions to completely overwhelm the minor premiers and cement their spot in the top eight just a fortnight before the finals.
It took just seven minutes for the Raiders to open their account as Sandor Earl pounced on a Josh McCrone grubber, with Jarrod Croker adding the extras for an early 6-0 lead. They doubled that score soon afterwards when Reece Robinson crossed following a Josh Dugan break but Canterbury threatened a comeback in the 22nd minute as some crisp passing enabled Kris Keating to cross and close the gap to six.
However, the home side stamped their authority before the break with Earl scoring his second from a Croker kick and Mark Nicholls barging his way over to make it 24-6.
Mistakes were the order of the day for the Bulldogs and Canberra continued to capitalise after halftime with Earl completing his hat-trick as he plucked the ball from Jonathan Wright’s grasp. McCrone then put the icing on the cake with a superb cut-out ball for Robinson to score his second.
Canberra enjoyed 58 per cent possession, enjoyed 39 more runs and made 1548 metres to Canterbury’s 1086.
Dane Tilse was superb for the home side with 165 metres while McCrone kicked for 370 metres. Ben Barba ran for 117 metres and added seven tackle breaks for Canterbury.