Canberra Raiders recovered from a 20-point comeback from Cronulla Sharks to edge a classic encounter 22-20.
Canberra made an excellent start to the game. Jarrod Croker slotted a penalty before Aidan Sezer reached out from first receiver for the first try. Then a great pass from Jack Wighton set up a flying Bailey Simonsson.
As the Sharks continued to toil, the Raiders kept coming and Wighton set up Croker with a short pass.
But Cronulla were able to bounce back through Josh Dugan’s try off Chad Townsend’s grubber kick. Then Wade Graham’s loose offload fell nicely for Josh Morris.
The visitors picked up where they left off after the break with another try for Braden Hamlin-Uele. Then Shaun Johnson, on his return from injury, set up Dugan for his second try.
But Croker’s second penalty of the game edged his side back in front and they were able to hold on for a crucial victory.
Raiders: Nicoll-Klokstad, Simonsson, Croker, Cotric, Rapana, Wighton, Sezer, Papalii, Havili, Sutton, Bateman, Whitehead, Tapine; Interchanges: Lui, Starling, Guler, Soliola
Tries: Sezer, Simonsson, Croker; Goals: Croker 5
On report: Bateman (28) – dangerous contact
Sharks: Moylan, Feki, Xerri, Morris, Dugan, Johnson, Townsend, Fifita, Brailey, Prior, Nikora, Capewell, Gallen; Interchanges: Graham, Bukuya, Williams, Hamlin-Uele
Tries: Dugan 2, Morris, Hamlin-Uele; Goals: Johnson 2
On report: Fifita (9) – dangerous contact
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.