The shocking stat that sums up Raiders' failure

1 month ago 18
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When Canberra sit down and review what went wrong in a season that promised so much, one glaring statistic will be at the heart of the matter.

Remarkably, seven times this year, the Raiders held double digit leads and yet lost.

It happened yet again in the vital clash with Manly last weekend, with the Raiders bolting to a 12-0 lead and seemingly having the Sea Eagles at their mercy.

But Manly clawed their way back to win 19-18, scoring 19 straight points before the Raiders got a late consolation try.

Why is it so?

That's the question Ricky Stuart will have to find out at the end of year review.

Lack of fitness? Mental weaknesses? Lack of confidence?

I think it's a combination of all three - and gives Ricky plenty to work on during the summer.

Canberra Raiders (Getty)

CAMPBELL JUNIOR IMPRESSES

Preston Campbell was a brilliant attacking player for the Titans, Penrith and Cronulla back in his day - but his son Jayden looks to have him covered.

It took Preston 26 games to notch his first try double in the NRL - Jayden achieved the feat in just his fourth on Thursday night.

And in a remarkable co-incidence, both father and son registered their first try doubles against the mighty Melbourne Storm!

NRL Highlights: Storm snatch a slice of history with a win over the Titans - Round 23

PAPENHUYZEN FINDS HIS MOJO

After four tentative performances on the bench following his long injury layoff, Ryan Papenhuyzen finally re-captured his mojo against the Titans on Thursday night.

Papenhuyzen, who hadn't started a game since Magic Round in round 10, looked a shadow of himself in recent weeks coming off the bench.

But coming into the starting side seemed to spark the speedy fullback and he showed his old attacking fire in an impressive display.

Papenhuyzen ran for 130 metres - his biggest haul since way back in round six.

The Tigers run onto the field for the start of the round 23 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Cronulla Sharks at Browne Park (Getty)

ROCKY RELISHES NRL SPECTACULAR

It was great to see Rockhampton finally get its taste of live rugby league - and the Sharks and Tigers thrilled the fans with a 60-plus points try avalanche.

But the inflated price of tickets left a bitter taste in the mouths of many of the locals.

Tickets in the small grandstand went for as much as $125 - big money in a struggling Queensland bush town.

Prices in the outer were less expensive - but still too much for many battlers hoping to take their families for a day out.

"It was more than double what we pay for the local league and a lot of people missed out because they just couldn't afford it," resident Liam Palmer told me.

The Sharks' defeat of the Tigers in Rockhampton on Saturday afternoon may well go down as their most important victory of the season.

Not only did it end a worrying three match losing run, but it did wonders for Cronulla's for-and-against, which could prove crucial in the battle for top eight spots.

The 50-20 win was the first time that the Sharks posted a half century since 2016 and the free-flowing attacking style will give Josh Hannay's men a much-needed confidence boost.

A special mention must go to young five-eighth Luke Metcalf, who bagged two tries in his first starting game at five-eighth and looks a special talent.

The crowd is seen during the round 23 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Cronulla Sharks at Browne Park (Getty)

KLEMMER SHINES

David Klemmer wants back into the Knights' starting side on a regular basis - and he sent coach Adam O'Brien his message in the scrappy win over the Bulldogs.

Most of the Knights' big guns failed to fire as the team limped to an ugly 22-16 win, but not Klemmer.

The big man, who only got to start because of an injury to NSW Origin middle man Daniel Saifiti, was in top form against his old club.

Klemmer ran for 210 metres - over 60 more than any other player on the field and backed that up with 28 bone-rattling tackles.

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