4 July 2023

Being a Raiders supporter is a roller coaster ride

| Tim Gavel
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The Raiders at GIO Stadium. Photo: Jennifer Andrew.

The Raiders run onto the field after halftime against the Titans. Photo: Jennifer Andrew.

After the Raiders held on to defeat the Gold Coast Titans on the weekend, I have attempted to work out why following the Green Machine is causing me so much angst. Love them, but my heart is pumping hard during every game, regardless of the lead they might have at halftime.

The realisation is that it is not just one game that has created the impression that the Raiders, seemingly on cue, allow the opposition to get back into the contest.

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On Saturday, the Raiders led 12-nil and ostensibly had control before allowing the Titans to get back into the game with tries on either side of halftime.

Winger Jojo Fifita scored two minutes after the break.

Raiders fans at Canberra Stadium

Raiders fans at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Raiders.

This is not a new phenomenon.

The weekend before, they played the Roosters. Again, the Raiders appeared to be cruising, leading 18-nil, before Joey Manu scored a minute before halftime then again two minutes after the break.

Allowing opposition teams to score close to and after halftime has become somewhat of a trend for the Raiders this season.

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In the 20-14 win over the Broncos, Brisbane winger Jordan Riki scored two minutes after the break.

In the 20-14 victory over the Dragons in April, St George-Illawarra winger Tautau Moga crossed in the 38th minute.

In the second round 14-20 loss to the Dolphins, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow scored two minutes before the break.

In the loss to Newcastle, the Knights scored two tries in the first five minutes after halftime.

In the 24-20 victory over the Sharks, Cronulla winger Ronaldo Mulitalo scored in the 33rd minute.

Raiders fans at Canberra Stadium

Raiders fans at Canberra Stadium ready for another tight battle against the Titans. Photo: Raiders.

Against Souths, Rabbitohs back Isaiah Tass crossed in the 45th minute, then in the single-point win over the Wests-Tigers, the Raiders seemingly had the game in their control before allowing the Tigers to score three tries in the final 12 minutes.

It brought back memories of that fateful day in Bathurst in 2017 when the Raiders led the Panthers by eight with less than three minutes to go. The Panthers then scored two converted tries to win 24-20.

I am trying to find the source of my anguish, as it’s hard to argue against eight wins from the last 10 games.

They are doing well on the table. They are winning. So all I can say is, the Raiders take you on a journey of the unknown each weekend.

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