It was a dismal weekend for rugby fans as the Raiders and Brumbies both lost their matches in contrasting fashions. Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios’ return to the court will have to wait a little while longer as he pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open over the weekend, but for local cricket brothers Jono and Blake Dean it was a weekend to remember. Find out why in The RiotACT‘s Canberra weekend sport recap.
Raiders suffer another close loss
The Canberra Raiders’ terrible run of close losses has continued in the 2018 season as Raiders threw away a strong lead against the Titans.
The Raiders gave up an 18-point lead in the first half to lose their season opener against the Gold Coast Titans 30-28 at Robina Stadium on Sunday night.
Titans centre Konrad Hurrell proved to be the matchwinner, swooping on an Ash Taylor grubber to score under the posts before Michael Gordon added the winning points in the final 90 seconds to break Raiders’ hearts.
The Raiders led 18-0 after just 12 minutes but threw away the substantial lead to continue the side’s woes in close games, after the Raiders lost eight games by six points or less in 2017.
The Raiders face the Newcastle Knights on Sunday night at Canberra Stadium in their first home match of the season and will need to prove the close loss was a just blip on the radar and not a trend in 2018.
Kyrgios’ pulls out of BNP Paribas Open
Nick Kyrgios’ injury woes have continued after he withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open due to a lingering right elbow injury over the weekend.
Ranked No. 20 in the world, the Canberra local initially suffered the injury during a Davis Cup match against Germany in February and hasn’t played since.
Absolutely gutted to withdraw today as Indian Wells is one of my favourite tournaments but my elbow is just not ready. I gave it as long as possible but I’m not at the level to compete yet. ?? https://t.co/Aj0Q3jFBDT
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) March 10, 2018
Kyrgios began the year in superb fashion, winning the Brisbane International and making a run to the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, ultimately falling to Grigor Dimitrov. Kyrgios has played only two matches since, both at the Davis Cup.
It’s the second straight year Kyrgios has pulled out of Indian Wells after he withdrew before his quarterfinal match with eventual champion Roger Federer due to food poisoning in 2017.
Kyrgios is scheduled to play at the Miami Open next weekend but it remains to be seen if he will be fit to play.
Brumbies final aspirations dealt a huge blow
The Brumbies’ finals aspirations were dealt a huge blow after losing two key players and the match against the Rebels in a dismal night in Melbourne last Friday.
The Rebels continued their perfect start to the Super Rugby season with a 33-10 victory, winning three games in a row for the first time in club history.
The Brumbies missed opportunities came back to haunt them after the Canberra side suffered injuries to skipper Sam Carter and Josh Mann-Rea. Carter left the game concussed after 15 minutes and the 37-year-old hooker Mann-Rea injured his left leg on the stroke of half-time. Both players did not return to the field.
The Brumbies are now 11 points off the pace in the Australian conference and have just five more in-conference games to make up the lost ground. The Brumbies have their first home match on Saturday night against the Sharks which is now a must win to put pressure on the conference-leading Rebels.
GWS Giants overcome Doggies in Canberra
The Greater Western Sydney Giants’ AFL Women’s premiership dream is alive after a big win over the Western Bulldogs in Canberra on Saturday night.
The Giants had to win to keep their finals hopes alive and they did not disappoint the Canberra crowd, with a 7.4 (46) to 4.4 (28) win over the league-leading Western Bulldogs in front of 4,146 fans at Manuka Oval.
The upset has set the scene for a blockbuster final round, with four of the competition’s five remaining flag contenders set to play each other.
Courtney Gum (23 disposals, one goal) was immense when the game was on the line in the final term, nailing a crucial fourth-quarter goal to keep the Giants in the hunt for a historic premiership.
The Giants will play last years runners-up Brisbane Lions in Blacktown to ensure their chance of playing finals footy.
Dean brothers dominate
The Dean brothers have hit Cricket ACT records for six after Blake Dean’s 291 runs and Jono Dean’s 205 led the Weston Creek Molonglo to the Cricket ACT Douglas Cup grand final.
Queanbeyan’s captain Michael Spaseski forfeited the semi-final at Stirling Oval after the Creek declared 9/668 with just over a day left in the game.
9-668 is the club’s highest score and the second-highest in competition history. The game ended without Queanbeyan even having a chance to bat.
The hapless Queanbeyan attack had no answers and for the first time in ACT first grade history, every player in the XI bowled in the same innings.
Blake Dean posted the highest ever score by a Creek player in any grade and the third-highest by any player in ACT first grade and etched his name into the history books.
Weston Creek Molonglo will meet Eastlake in the decider after the Demons thrashed North Canberra-Gungahlin at Kippax Oval.