By Alyce Giorgioni
The Raiders under 20s defeated the Gungahlin Bulls 66 – 10 in a massive Grand Final victory at Seiffert Oval.
The Raiders had control for most of the game in a masterclass performance to close out the 2020 Canberra Regional Rugby League Cup.
The Bulls came out firing off the kick-off as they drove the Raiders back into the in-goal in a huge start to the game.
The Bulls forced another goal-line dropout, but play was stopped when Jordan Williams went down for the Raiders after just three minutes.
Caleb Esera broke through the Bulls defence to open the scoring for the Raiders after seven minutes of play. The score remained 4 – 0 with an unsuccessful conversion to Mitchel Souter.
A classy kick on the last from Adrian Trevilyan and a good kick chase from the Raiders kept the Bulls in the in-goal to earn another set on the attack.
The Bulls regained possession and threatened the Raiders line but they just couldn’t hold onto it and the Raiders worked it down the field.
Adrian Trevilyan crashed over under the posts for the Raiders second try, and Souter added the extra two for a 10 – 0 lead after 15 minutes.
The Raiders went back to back when Joshua Allen spun over to plant the ball down just two minutes later. Souter added the two to extend their lead 16 – 0.
Esera broke through the Bulls line on the first-quarter buzzer with a pass to Manase Kaho to score under the posts, and another successful conversion from Souter but the Raiders up 22 – 0.
The Bulls worked it out of their end off the back of a Raiders error, and a subsequent penalty got them deep into the Raiders half, but their last option kick didn’t come off and the Raiders regained possession.
Kaho earned his second try of the day and Souter added the extra two for a 28 – 0 lead. Kaho went again in back to back tries, as he ran 90 metres score his third of the game, and the extra two from Souter put them in front by 34.
Cooper Harris was next in line to score for the Raiders with two minutes to go before half time. Jordan Williams successfully added the two for a 40 – 0 lead.
Trey Mooney scored on the half time buzzer and another successful conversion from Williams put them up 46 – 0 going into the break.
Silafono Titiuti opened the scoring in the second half for the Raiders and a successful conversion put them up 52 – 0 after 47 minutes.
The Bulls threatened the Raiders line but a stray ball over the sideline put the Raiders back on the attack.
The Linkin Bradley scored in the corner after 53 minutes but an unsuccessful conversion left them locked in at 52 – 4.
The Raiders hit back and Esera scored his second of the day but an unsuccessful conversion left the scores at 56 – 4.
Esera went back to back with 20 to go as they extended their lead 60 – 4. The scores were locked in with an unsuccessful conversion.
The Bulls second try came with 10 to go when Tristan Eldridge crashed over under the posts. A successful conversion from Cody Smith locked the scores in at 60 – 10 to the Raiders.
Jordan Williams slid over in the corner to extend the Raiders lead with three minutes left on the clock, and he converted his own try for a final score of 66 – 10.
Photo by Karleen Minney