The Canberra Raiders have completed their fly-in-fly-out mission with a 14-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in a physical encounter in Townsville.
Ricky Stuart’s men were able to maintain their halftime lead with the returning John Bateman and Curtis Scott playing big parts, as the Raiders capped off the 2000-kilometre road trip with a win as they edge closer towards the top four.
An early error from Jack Wighton after diving on a loose ball gave the Cowboys an early chance in the Raiders half of the field.
The Cowboys were able to take advantage of the gifted field position and struck first blood through hooker Reece Robson who crossed over in the third minute.
The Raiders struggled to get out of their own half and made some simple errors in the process.
After facing immense pressure from the Cowboys, the Raiders finally had a chance to attack in opposition half through a 20-metre restart.
The Raiders were unable to capitalise on the field position and gave away penalty on the final play of the set for offside on the kick chase.
After spending most of the game with their backs against the wall, the Raiders finally hit back, and they did it in style.
A play deep inside their own half on the right-hand edge led to the ball going through the hands of John Bateman and Curtis Scott who found Nick Cotric, who ran down field and linked with an unmarked George Williams who raced away for a classic try.
After forcing a drop out, the Cowboys had a chance on the Raiders line to hit the lead 10 minutes before halftime, but they were unable to crack the green brick wall.
An error from Jason Taumalolo inside his own half gave the Raiders possession in good field position and they were able to force a repeat set.
The subsequent dropout was kicked out on the full by Kyle Feldt which allowed the Green Machine to hit the lead courtesy of Jarrod Croker’s left boot as he nailed a penalty goal from in front.