Raiders v Wests Tigers: Five key points
Josh Hodgson and Jordan Rapana produced their best matches in green as the Raiders ran out 60-6 victors against the hapless Tigers to hand them their sixth straight loss.
Englishmen deliver the Queen a perfect 90th birthday present
Josh Hodgson started Round 8 as the outright leader in the race for the 2016 Dally M Medal, and after Saturday night's performance it's safe to say he's added another three points to his tally. The English dummy half played a part in his side's first seven tries, setting up his forwards close to the line at will. The No.9 made it look easy at times with his deft passing and short-kicking game combining for a whopping five try assists. Just for good measure Hodgson also ran for 105 metres and made 22 tackles in an utterly dominant 56-minute showing.
The Green Machine's other Englishman didn't have a bad game either, with Elliott Whitehead scoring the game's opener inside five minutes, before throwing the final pass to put Jordan Rapana over for his fourth try of the night. The Raiders back-rower ran for 118 metres and made 32 tackles to confirm his status as one of the buys of the year.
Hot start a distant memory for the Tigers
The Tigers had their fans dreaming of playing finals after winning their first two games to start 2016. But it's been lean pickings ever since, with the 2005 premiers losing their last six to sit well outside the top eight. There had been plenty of positives to take out of their performances in recent weeks, but you'd be hard pressed to find anything good to say after the 54-point thrashing in the nation's capital. The Tigers conceded 11 line breaks, were forced to make 97 extra tackles and gave up 615 more metres than their opponents in what was a night to forget.
Raiders' right edge runs riot
Jordan Rapana and Joseph Leilua were Canberra's best players in a badly beaten side last weekend against the Sharks, and were rewarded for their efforts with four and two tries respectively against the Tigers. Rapana played as if he had spiders on him, running for 165 metres, making four line breaks and setting up a try in a game that saw him score doubles in each half. Leilua was equally impressive, making 142 metres and creating two tries in a performance that will give Nathan Milone and Jordan Rankin nightmares.
Tigers can't rely on James Tedesco
Tigers fullback James Tedesco dominated the NRL with eight tries and six try assists in the first seven rounds, but for the first time in 2016 found himself well handled by an opposition defence. The Tigers No.1 was limited to 120 metres on Saturday night with the Raiders shutting him down at every turn. When the Tigers' halves did deviate from Tedesco, they enjoyed success with Chris Lawrence able to crash over as the defence focussed on his more threatening teammate. The City representative deserves to be the team's focal point in attack, but it's imperative that they consider an alternative game plan when things aren't working.
Paul Vaughan comes of age
Paul Vaughan celebrated his 25th birthday with one of his best performances in Canberra colours. The Country and Italian representative played a season high 51 minutes, ran for a season-best 177 metres and scored a try that would have coach Ricky Stuart smiling from ear to ear after deciding to start him on Saturday night. Vaughan was ably supported by Shannon Boyd who made 146 metres in just 41 minutes against the Tigers in a sign the Raiders are well equipped to cover the loss of injured veterans Jeff Lima and Sia Soliola.