Big Win for Toyota Cup Raiders4 April 2011, 10:23 am
Australian Schoolboy Jack Wighton scored four tries as the Raiders’ NYC team registered a superb win in front of their home crowd on Saturday, disposing of the last placed Gold Coast Titans 58-18.
Coach David Hamilton’s experiment with reshuffling the team line-up paid dividends with each player thriving in their new positions. Wighton in particular was quite spectacular.
After moving to his preferred five-eighth position, the youngster displayed flair, speed and control in a man of the match performance.
Halves partner Sam Williams paid tribute to Wighton. “He’s a very freakish player and I think this game will do wonders for his confidence.”
Williams and Wighton combined fluently and effectively enabling the ball to flow both sides of the field in the ten try annihilation.
“It helps playing with Sammy Williams. He leads the team around well and I just try to play off the back of him and learn off him while I do it,” Wighton said, repaying the previous compliment.
Hamilton was also pleased with how the new combinations gelled.
“We’ll definitely be keeping these changes for next week. They [the halves] set up well together and Wighton of course did a great job...He organised well and ran some terrific lines. The more they play together the better the combination’s going to be.”
Paul Vaughn set the trend early when he crashed over in the 2nd minute. Chris Medcalf converted.
The Titans hit back four minutes later when Japeth Vaoa brilliantly fielded a Jordan Rankin cross-field bomb and passed in the one movement for Alec Jones to score. Rankin missed the conversion.
Wighton scored his first try in the 13th minute after Matt McIllrick darted out of dummy half and linked with Wighton who danced and skipped around two defenders to cross. Medcalf converted.
Williams then created tries for Vaughn and Hayden Crocket off similar set plays ten metres out from the Titans defence. Medcalf converted.
Vaughn had a fine game, his 138 metres gained and three line breaks paved the way for numerous attacking raids.
Wighton crossed for his second in the 18th minute throwing a dummy to fool the Titans defence. Medcalf missed the conversion.
Williams scored himself in the 21st minute. The wily half scored after Sami Sauiluma fielded Williams’ bomb and found Hayden Hodge looming in support who then positioned Williams to cross. Medcalf converted to stretch the half-time lead out to 34-4.
Wighton scored his third seven minutes into the second half after reeling in a Nathan Massey chip kick to score adjacent to the posts. Medcalf converted.
Williams sliced through on consecutive occasions in the 56th and 58th minutes to position Michael Chee Kam and Wighton to cross next to the posts. Medcalf converted both.
Then came the try of the match in the 63rd minute. Sauiluma fielded a Rankin kick right on the Raiders try line and beat two defenders before linking with Massey. Massey then sent Williams racing 40 metres to score in a thrilling hundred metre movement. Medcalf converted.
The young Raiders are developing well under Hamilton, which prompted calls from above for some adjustments to the line-up.
“Mase [Nathan Massey] is naturally a fullback,” Hamilton said. “He’s in with a good chance at getting a run in the NRL during the year so Furnsey [David Furner] was keen to have him back there.”
And he may not be the only one, as the young Raiders surged to a third straight win.
“The twenty five minute opening is what set it up [the win]. We stuck to the game plan perfectly and we hurt them where we planned to hurt them,” Hamilton said.
Three late consolation tries to the Titans in the final ten minutes added some respectability to the final score for the away side.
The Raiders’ NYC will look to cement their position at the top of the ladder when the travel to Penrith next Saturday to take on the Panthers.Source: www.raiders.com.au - Canberra Raiders News Headlines