The Canberra Raiders returned to the winner’s column in Ricky Stuart’s 400th game as a coach on Saturday evening with a scruffy 14-6 victory over the West Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney.
Though the Raiders weren’t at their brilliant best, the Green Machine constructed a much simpler game plan against the Tigers as opposed to last week’s defeat at the hands of the Knights. Despite the weekend win not being pretty, they got the two points which was most important.
It seemed that maybe the Raiders were destined for another poor result when the Tigers crossed for the first and only try in the first half, but things quickly took a turn for the better as the away side controlled more possession in the second 40 minutes.
Five-eighth Jack Wighton displayed his strong running game in the halves to find the try line to bring up his half-century of career NRL tries. His halves partner George Williams produced yet another try assist five minutes later with a fantastic grubber kick that found Nick Cotric in the corner to score in his third straight game.
Williams made it try assist number six so far in the 2020 campaign.
— Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) June 14, 2020
The best Raider without a doubt was Wighton and he continues to prosper into a great number 6. His running game makes him one of the most dangerous five-eighths in the competition, illustrated by four tries in five matches in 2020.
Comments after the match compared him with Raiders legend Laurie Daley.
Raiders fans have seen Wighton develop over the years from starting out as a fullback, the centres and now the halves. Wighton made a name for himself in the winning 2019 NSW Blues team and more recently the Australian Kangaroos squad under coach and Raiders legend Mal Meninga.
If the Raiders want to claim their first premiership since 1994, they need Wighton to continue performing at the level he has been displaying over the last 18 months.
The 27-year-old copped a nasty bruise to his eye for his efforts and it caught the attention of those watching the game but it should be nothing to worry about moving forward.
The Raiders have moved up to second on the ladder, while the Tigers stay put at 9th.
In round six the Raiders will have a tough test on their hands when they take on the sixth-placed Manly Sea Eagles at the same venue next Sunday (21 June).
Tigers 6-14 Raiders
Tigers tries: Brooks. Conversions: Mbye.
Raiders tries: Wighton, Cotric. Conversions: Croker (3).
Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Joseph Leilua, 4. Moses Mbye, 5. Tommy Talau, 6. Josh Reynolds, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Zane Musgrove, 11. Luciano Leilua, 12. Chris Lawrence, 13. Alex Twal.
Substitutes: 14. Thomas Mikaele, 15. Russell Packer, 16. Michael Chee-Kam, 17. Alex Seyfarth.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 17. Jordan Rapana, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton
7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (C), 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Joe Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 16. Sia Soliola
Substitutes: 2. Bailey Simonsson, 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Emre Guler, 20. Ryan Sutton.