The Raiders produced a top quality second half on Saturday night to defeat the Dragons in their first home game of the season, 21-14.
After a nervous start filled with plenty of errors, the Raiders rallied in the late stages of the second half to go to the break 2 points down. The second half saw the Green Machine shut out the dragons whilst posting two tries and a field goal to take the match by 7 points.
In his first home game since returning from a three year stint at the Roosters, Joel Monaghan produced a man-of-the-match performance that including two tries. Todd Carney also performed well despite some early errors and directionless play – his 40-20 kick gave the Raiders the boost they needed to take control in the second half.
Key player Phil Graham added to the Raiders injury woes when he went down with a knee injury during the match. He joins a long list of injured Raiders.
There was a decent crowd for the first home game of the season, with 14,400 piling into Canberra stadium. Several thousand fans were left outside the gates well into the match – most of them turning up 5 minutes before kickoff. This season the Raiders have discounted pre-purchased tickets to try and discourages buying tickets at the gate – a must given the large number of people that think turning up 5 minutes before the game is sufficient to be seated before kickoff.
Next week the Raiders will take on the Gold Coast Titans at their new home ground, Skilled Park on Saturday night at 7.30. The next home game will be on Sunday April 13th at 2pm against the Wests Tigers.