A two-try effort from Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton has helped the Raiders secure a convincing 36-16 NRL win over an undermanned Gold Coast in Robina.
- The Raiders scored six tries against the Titans, with Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric both crossing for doubles
- The win moves the Raiders into the top four ahead of the completion of round 15
- The Titans were missing several key players, including captain Kevin Proctor because of suspension
Wighton dominated the opening half as the Raiders — coming off a thrashing of the Brisbane Broncos last weekend — were once again too good for Queensland opposition, scoring six tries to three.
Winger Nick Cotric picked up tries in both halves against the Titans to add to the double he scored against the Broncos last week.
Tom Starling and Hudson Young scored the Raiders’ other two tries on the Gold Coast.
The win moves the Raiders into fourth place on the ladder ahead of round 15 being completed this weekend.
The Titans — already missing captain Kevin Proctor due to a four-week suspension for biting, and Jai Arrow (shoulder) and Dale Copley (pec) to injury — were hit with a blow before kick-off when Ash Taylor was ruled out due to a quad injury.
Taylor’s scratching brought Tanah Boyd back into the team and the youngster had an immediate impact with his grubber setting up Phillip Sami for the opening try of the match.
But the Titans’ lead did not last long as the Raiders ran in four unanswered tries, including Wighton’s double, to open up a 22-4 lead at the break.
Stand-in Titans captain Jamal Fogarty tried to spark a comeback when he surged clear after taking a quick tap on the 20-metre line 10 minutes into the second half.
The halfback looked destined to go the length of the field but was brought down by an ankle tap from Canberra prop Josh Papalii.
Papalii was later put on report for a high tackle on Jaimin Jolliffe, while Titans’ forward Moeaki Fotuaika was also placed on report for a crusher tackle.
The Titans did open the scoring in the second half when Fogarty set up dynamic fullback AJ Brimson but the home side was immediately pegged back when Young crashed over for the Raiders.
Keegan Hipgrave scored a late consolation for the Titans, who ended the match without hooker Nathan Peats (calf injury).