Titans hand Raiders a hiding
Needing a massive win to overhaul the Warriors' superior differential if they wanted to make the finals, the Raiders were instead given a 38-13 thrashing at the hands of a rejuvenated Titans outfit that was playing for pride only.
There were worrying signs early on for Canberra when a brilliant run down the left edge from Titans skipper Will Zillman allowed him to offload to Josh Hoffman to open the scoring.
The Raiders hit back straight away through one of day one's best players in Sisa Waqa, whose massive fend inside his own half sent him into open space. Although he tried to put on some footwork near the posts to get inside the bonus zone, he had to settle for a regular try to level up the scores at 6-all.
An amazing free-flowing run down the right flank from Anthony Don then drew the Raiders defence, and his grubber infield sat up nicely in front of the posts for James Roberts to earn a bonus-zone try.
Noted speedster Roberts was in the action again shortly after, showing blistering pace to scorch around the defence and down the right touchline to make it 17-6 at half-time.
Needing a second-half avalanche to have any hope, the Raiders instead conceded first points after the break when Christian Hazard ran through to toe ahead a grubber in behind the line, finding himself in a footrace with Jarrod Croker and winning to get to the ball first beside the posts.
A beautiful floating cut-out pass from young playmaker Ken Elgey then sent Kalifa Faifai Loa in, blowing the lead out to 27-6.
Raiders halfback and Junior Kangaroo Mitch Cornish did it all himself when he grubbered into the Titans in-goal and sprinted through the claim a bonus zone try but it was too little too late.
Elgey then went from provider to beneficiary as good lead-up from Roberts, an offload from Matt White and a good inside ball from Daniel Mortimer set him up for a bonus-zone try of his own. Hoffman then iced the win with a stunning broken play run that evaded several defenders to blow the final score out to 38-13.