Raiders run riot against toothless Tigers
The Canberra Raiders have recorded their biggest ever win against the Wests Tigers with a crushing 60-6 win at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.
The Tigers were in the contest down 12-6 after 17 minutes, but 48 unanswered points consigned them to their sixth straight defeat in what was their worst performance of the year.
Josh Hodgson proved why he is leading the Dally M count after seven rounds with a hand in five tries plus 105 metres and 22 tackles in a simply outstanding 56-minute stint, while Jordan Rapana was unstoppable, crossing for four tries on the right wing.
Up 22-6 at the break, the Raiders quickly went about killing off the contest with three tries in eight minutes to seal the result early in the second half.
Canberra ran for a whopping 605 more metres than the Tigers, while the visitors were asked to make 97 extra tackles than their conquerors.
The Tigers lost Dene Halatau with a suspected dislocated thumb early in the game, while Canberra's Joseph Tapine was carried from the field with an ankle injury.
It took Elliott Whitehead just three minutes to score the opener, with the Englishman having to run no more than a metre to crash over for his second four-pointer in the NRL.
Next it was Shannon Boyd who barged over courtesy of a short ball from Hodgson to score his seventh career try – and fourth against the Tigers – and make it 12-0 after 10 minutes.
A sloppy penalty against Paul Vaughan on the last tackle gave the visitors a repeat set, and they took full advantage with Chris Lawrence charging onto a flat pass from his halfback Luke Brooks to halve the deficit.
It didn't take long for the English rake to step up once more, linking up with Rapana on the last tackle to send his winger over out wide for his first of the night.
A terrific defensive read from Josh Papalii denied James Tedesco what would have been his ninth try of the season just before the break, and it would prove to be telling moment.
A quick play the ball allowed Hodgson to split the markers before offloading to Joseph Leilua who released Rapana to sprint 45 metres to complete his first-half double.
Hodgson extended his incredible form just after the break, darting from dummy half early in the second stanza before offloading to Wighton who hurdled a defender before putting it on the toe for Croker to bring up 1200 career points in the NRL.
Paul Vaughan became the next Raider to benefit from his charitable hooker with a simple hard and straight charge to score next to the sticks just three minutes later.
The Dally M leader then signed off for the night to set up Joseph Leilua for a try any pinball fan would have been proud of.
Two more tries to Rapana in the 60th and 70th minutes – the latter coming on the back of some crafty flicks from his inside men – sandwiched a well-deserved try to Sezer, before Rapana grubbered through for Leilua to complete the carnage.
Canberra Raiders 60 (Jordan Rapana 4, Joseph Leilua 2, Elliott Whitehead, Shannon Boyd, Jarrod Croker, Paul Vaughan, Aidan Sezer tries; Jarrod Croker 8 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 6 (Chris Lawrence try; Jordan Rankin 1 goal) at GIO Stadium. Half-time: 22-6 Raiders. Crowd: 13,420. Injuries: Joseph Tapine (ankle) and Dene Halatau (thumb).