One of the biggest droughts in rugby league is over but not before Canberra nearly threw away victory in a golden point heart stopper against New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart should make sure his health insurance is up to date after his side gave up a 22 4 lead with 10 minutes remaining before prevailing on the back of a fine captain’s knock by Jarrod Croker.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said before the season started the centre would be the first player picked in his backline if he was NSW Origin coach.
Perhaps the Broncos mentor has been proven right.
Just two weeks after Jordan Rapana sealed a game against Newcastle in similar fashion in golden point, Croker scored his third try of the game in extra time to seal a 26 22 win.
The Raiders led 22 4 with just 10 minutes left but the Warriors scored three soft late tries, wholesale jerseys from china and a last minute sideline conversion from Issac Luke after fullback David Fusitu’a scored out wide, sent the game to extra time.
In golden point Rapana was dragged down just short of the sideline, and the next tackle halfback Aidan Sezer made the right decision to pass to Josh Papalii, who put an unmarked Croker over.
Earlier, Canberra appeared set to cruise to victory but a quick double to Warriors five eighth Thomas Leuluai bridged the gap to 22 16 with eight minutes left.
Canberra’s eighth home win in 10 attempts this year sees it leapfrog Canterbury Bulldogs into fourth spot, just a point behind third placed North Queensland Cowboys.
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