Canberra's great Dane off in style
Canberra have farewelled departing prop Dane Tilse in style by recording the club's biggest ever comeback in a 30-22 win over the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
Tilse signs off after over 10 seasons in the NRL – the first one with Newcastle – and will depart Australia on Monday night to take up a three-year deal with English Super League side Hull KR.
It was almost a horror ending for the 30-year-old front-rower after his side was mired in a 22-point hole after just 25 minutes on Sunday.
But the Raiders fought back to score the final 30 points of the match and ensure Tilse's name is etched in club history.
"It was a bit of a nightmare start that first 20, we made it pretty hard on ourselves into the wind," Tilse said post-game.
"But it's good fun playing footy at Leichhardt Oval. It's a great atmosphere, even for a visiting team. To be able to win in my last NRL game and for the club it's pretty special so I got to thank all the boys for their effort today."
Tilse had just celebrated his 200th game for the Raiders last week.
"I couldn't have been happier with what the club did for me down there in my 200th game. I've got some special memories in the NRL, but got a new chapter tomorrow. I get on the place to go to Hull tomorrow night. So it's all happening for me," he said.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart proudly praised the efforts of his side, who were forced to make 46 of the first 51 tackles of the match. They committed an error on their first play of the game and didn't see the ball until the 10th minute-mark, when they were already down 12-0.
"Just the adversity of it," Stuart said. "It was a real tough day, that first half of footy. So much adversity that they had to play under in regards to the mistakes that we were making. I think we had 30 per cent of the football in the first half, and we only completed about 50 per cent of it. It's the spirit that we have in the joint."
The turning point were the two tries scored by Shannon Boyd and Jarrod Croker late in the first half that kept the Raiders in the contest.
"When I saw the Tigers boys walking back to the kickoff twice from our tries in the first half, it was about motivation at the break that we were coming to get 'em," Stuart said.
"And I couldn't be more prouder of the bunch of boys we have in the club. If you [media] see it that way, that's fantastic. It's nice coming from someone else, but I definitely saw it was one of the greatest comebacks in the club's history. And to send the big fella out that way is great."