Canberra have overcome their own ill-discipline to cruise to a comfortable victory over a Cowboys side still playing sloppy footy, the Raiders finishing 30-12 winners.
The Raiders wasted no time to get onto the board. In the second minute Javid Bowen knocked-on in his own half and shortly after the ensuing scrum, the Green Machine spread the ball left where Jarrod Croker drew and passed to Nick Cotric who just managed to get the ball down on the line in the corner. Croker failed to convert.
In their first set after the restart, the Raiders marched downfield with ease. On the last tackle, a grubber by Sam Williams towards the left corner was helped along off Joey Leilua's shin. Jordan Rapana cleaned up and dived over to score in the corner. Croker again unsuccessful from the difficult angle.
For almost the next 20 minutes, both sides turned the ball over cheaply or gave away silly penalties. In the 25th minute one such penalty was called against the Cowboys and Croker kicked a penalty goal.
In the 31st minute the Cowboys got themselves on the scoreboard after Michael Morgan took on the line, got his arms free and offloaded to Gavin Cooper in space who strolled over the line to score to the left of the posts. Jordan Kahu added the easy two.
Canberra scored a spectacular try just before half time when Rapana was put into space down the right touchline, he kicked it back in-field and Leilua fielded the bouncing ball in front of the posts and scored under the black dot. Croker nailed the easy conversion.
Right on the stroke of half time, Williams had a crack at a field goal but it went just wide.
The form of both sides hadn't changed much initially after play resumed. Croker kicked another penalty goal in the 44th minute.
The Cowboys started to get the upper hand immediately after and in the 52nd minute they scored after Morgan received the ball on the left side, stepped back in towards the posts twice and then passed to John Asiata, who reached out and slammed the ball down next to the posts. Kahu added the extras.
For the next 20 minutes both sides went end to end but had very poor execution on their last tackle plays.
With 8 minutes left in the game, both sides traded dropped balls, before Jack Wighton cleaned up sent it to Croker, who linked with Cotric before receiving the ball again back on the inside and the Raiders captain scored. Croker converted his own try.
With just 3 minutes left, Canberra wrapped the game up when Rapana burrowed over the line to score his second try. Croker added the goal and Canberra won comfortably.