The Canberra Raiders have continued their stunning resurgence this season, claiming their fourth win in five games as they thumped the Gold Coast Titans 32-18.
Canberra showed again why they can be one of the most exciting teams in the competition in their six-try demolition in front of 11,170 fans at GIO Stadium.
The Titans' defeat was further soured by the loss of State of Origin hopeful Jai Arrow who was taken from the field in the 17th minute with what coach Garth Brennan later said was a serious rib injury. He was later taken to hospital by ambulance.
The Raiders took advantage of the undermanned Titans side who were also missing Jarrod Wallace and Keegan Hipgrave (concussion) and Ryan Simpkins (neck). The visitors were left with no fit interchange players for the final eight minutes.
Canberra opened their account on the back of a kick out on the full from Titans halfback Ash Taylor, when Sia Soliola strolled over for one of the easiest tries of his career to make it 6-0.
Back-to-back penalties for the home side led to Joe Tapine increasing the lead after Blake Austin held up the ball well to create the gap.
Much like their clash back in round one, the Raiders again continued their march downfield and when a chip-kick by Aidan Sezer bounced up perfectly for Jarrod Croker the score was out to 16-0.
Match: Raiders v Titans
Round 9 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
The Titans continued to struggle inside the Raiders red-zone, with pushed passes coming back to haunt the side as they desperately tried to get into the game.
Canberra continued to run away with the game after a sensational backline move to the left saw Nick Cotric score his third try of the season as the home side raced out to 20-0.
In the shadows of half-time, the Titans threw themselves at the Raiders on their line but again their execution came back to hurt them as Canberra's line remained intact.
Ryan James was finally able to break the green wall after he latched onto a grubber from Mitch Rein at dummy half, as the Titans got the perfect start to the second half to make it 20-6.
The momentum continued to swing towards the Gold Coast off the back of a slew of penalties, with an Ash Taylor kick pounced on by Kevin Proctor.
Michael Gordon added the extras and suddenly the deficit was just eight with 30 minutes to play.
However, all of the Titans' good work was undone by a wild Konrad Hurrell pass which gifted the Raiders possession on the attack.
Shannon Boyd did not have to be asked twice, with the hulking prop smashing his way over next to the posts to ease the nerves of the home fans.
Boyd went on the attack again with a line break to help set up a try for Jordan Rapana, who tip-toed down the sideline before a flying finish to extend Canberra's lead to 20.
Late in the game, Tapine was placed on report for a lifting tackle on Titans captain James.
News & Notes: Titans forward Will Matthews missed out on his 100th NRL game due to concussion ... Canberra captain Jarrod Croker became the 11th player in history to score 1700 points ... Moeaki Fotuaika made his NRL debut for the Titans ... The undermanned Titans face the might of the Melbourne Storm next Saturday in Brisbane.