The Canberra Raiders have beaten the Cronulla Sharks 34-16 in front of 24,450 at Canberra Stadium.
This was a really entertaining game to watch and early on the Raiders had it all over the Sharks. The Sharks love an arm wrestle though and for all the quality posession and field position the Raiders had, the game remained close. It wasn’t until just before half time that you got the feeling the Raiders were starting to lift.
The key moment in the game came early in the second half. Todd Carney had an injection before the match for an Achilles injury. He had another one at half time. When he went to step off his right foot with no one touching him, his Achilles snapped on him. That was his game, season, and probably a fair bit of next season over. While I thought Ray Warren was pretty harsh saying they would be better off without him in the side, it was a blow the Sharks never really recovered from.
The Raiders have a big forward pack that just blasted the Sharks for the entire game. The decision to leave out Ben Ross was a curious one and in hindsight, it probably played into the Raiders hands. The Sharks could have really used his size out there.
As the game wore on it become apparent that the Sharks just didn’t have the fire power to go with the Raiders and the Green Machine started to run away with the match. It was a good, tough contest, but a really touch way to exit the finals.
It has been a good season for the Sharks. They played pretty well over the course of the season and they probably exceeded most peoples expectations. They made some key signings for next year, and most importantly they secured the clubs long term future with the green light given to the clubs new development. Sharks Chairman Damian Irvine, coach Shane Flanagan and captain Paul Gallen all had really good season in my opinion and end the 2012 season with something really positive to build upon.
As for the Raiders, they are in bloody good form. Raiders fans won’t get ahead of themselves but they now play the Rabbitoh’s next season in Sydney and they will be very hard to beat.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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