Former Catalans Dragons winger Michael Oldfield scored a hat-trick of tries as the Canberra Raiders brushed aside the North Queensland Cowboys with a stirring second-half performance at GIO Stadium to secure a 38-12 victory that keeps their top-eight hopes alive.
It was a comprehensive victory, despite the Raiders suffering the blow of captain Jarrod Croker leaving the field in the 30th minute with a dislocated left kneecap.
Jordan Rapana, Oldfield and Warrington bound Blake Austin, who came off the bench to replace Croker, scored first-half tries for the Raiders, with Adam Sezer only managing to convert the third.
The Cowboys had replied with tries to Lachlan Coote and Gavin Cooper, with Johnathan Thurston converting both.
In the second half the game was evenly contested until the 64th minute, when Oldfield scored his second, and he quickly addded a third before Rapana and Sezer added further tries to give the final scoreline a lopsided look.
Raiders: 1 Nick Cotric, 2 Michael Oldfield, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Sam Williams, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Dunamis Lui, 9 Josh Hodgson, 10 Junior Paulo, 17 Iosia Soliola, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Josh Papalii; Interchange: 14 Blake Austin, 15 Luke Bateman, 16 Siliva Havili, 18 Liam Knight
Tries: Rapana 2, Oldfield 3, Austin, Sezer Goals: Goals: Sezer 5
Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Enari Tuala, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Te Maire Martin, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 John Asiata, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 16 Shane Wright, 13 Jason Taumalolo; Interchange: 12 Coen Hess, 14 Ben Hampton, 15 Shaun Fensom, 17 Corey Jensen
Tries: Coote, Cooper; Goals: Thurston 2
Full reports and photos from the NRL’s latest round of fixtures will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express