The first match on Sunday afternoon saw the rising Raiders secure a close four point victory ahead of the Titans at Canberra Stadium in a tense battle.
The Gold Coast, who were sitting at number two on the NRL ladder just a few rounds ago, have now been pushed out of the top four and find themselves in the sixth spot after losing three successive games.
Canberra have begun to show some steam, having now won their last two games including their impressive 22 – 14 win ahead of the Dragons in Round 11.
The point scoring began in the entertaining showdown just one minute into Sunday’s match when the Raiders boom fullback Josh Dugan opened their account with a four-pointer converted by in-form five-eighth Terry Campese so the home side lead by six after just two minutes.
Dugan’s excellent performance caught the attention of NSW Origin selectors, and the youngster has been called up for Origin II.
Six minutes later the Titans fought back when centre Joseph Tomane scored their first try in the seventh minute. Skipper Scott Prince converted and the score was tied six all.
For the remainder of the first half the Raiders totally dominated and got in three unanswered tries while keeping the Titans from getting any more points on the board.
Trevor Thurling was first over in the 25th minute, followed by Joel Thompson in the 33rd minute and then Terry Campese scored and converted just three minutes later so Canberra went into half-time with a comfortable 22 – 6 lead.
Back from the break the Raiders retained their excellent momentum and winger Daniel Vidot went over just four minutes into the second half, increasing their lead by another four points.
In a stirring second half comeback the Gold Coast found some form and gave it everything they had, managing three tries of their own as the Raiders nearly gave up their 20 point lead. Mark Minichiello scored in the 58th minute paving the way, then Scott Prince scored and converted in the 66th minute and finally Anthony Laffranchi got over in the 73rd to give them a total of 24.
But despite their impressive performance, it wasn’t enough to topple the Raiders, who added a final two points to their score with a 63rd minute penalty kick, so that the home side won 28 – 24.
This weekend the Titans return to Skilled Park where they will face off against Manly while the Raiders look the pick against the Cowboys. Get in on the Rugby League Betting action of Round 14 at Ladbrokes.com.au now!