Raiders NYC Narrowly Defeated in Albury
The Canberra Raiders NYC narrowly went down 26-20 to the Melbourne Storm in humid conditions at Lavington Sports Ground in Albury today.
The match was played in four twenty minute quarters which allowed for Coach Andrew Dunemann to test out the ability of several fringe players in game situations.
The Under 20s side unfortunately went down narrowly in the first three quarters although completely dominated the final quarter. The squad receive some much needed game time and unearthed several promising juniors throughout the contest.
Townsville recruit Malcom Congoo opened the scoring for the Green Machine after Ben Picker feigned to pass outside and then found the livewire fullback scything down his inside shoulder. Picker missed with his conversion attempt.
Ball control was an issue for both sides throughout the match and after several handling error exchanges, Zac Moi Moi capitalised for Melbourne, with the powerful front rower storming over from close range.
Match fitness was being gained by the minute, however weak defence around the ruck area from the Raiders then proved the catalyst for the Storm’s second try.
Both sides traded blows in the second stanza before some adlib play down the right flank from the Storm resulted in a try to Richard Kenner in the 31st minute.
Eight minutes later, the Storm were in again on the opposite flank to stretch their halftime lead out to 16 to 4.
The Storm took advantage of their extended bench and started the third quarter in red hot form scoring from their opening set of six.
The Raiders hit back in the soon after when a long ball from halfback Mitchell Cornish put Edrick Lee on the outside of the defence and allowed the former basketball representative a open passage to the try line.
Melbourne was then lucky to be awarded a dubious penalty in the 52nd minute after the Melbourne try scorer looked to have fumbled the ball over the try line.
The final quarter was dominated by Canberra and portrayed the Toyota Cup sides true potential with two superb tries late in the quarter.
Firstly, Peter Irwin burst onto a fine ball from Picker and wonderfully evaded the Storm fullback to score in the 77th minute.
Congoo then narrowed the losing margin when the flyer miraculously picked up a loose ball and raced sixty metres untouched to score under the posts.
Hooker Josh Mitchell converted both tries which capped off a strong game for the tough rake.Source: Canberra Raiders