Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Canberra Raiders have confirmed their tag as premiership dark horses with a hard-fought 19-0 win over the Parramatta Eels at GIO Stadium.
18 handling errors were Parramatta's undoing on Sunday night but the Raiders were faultless in defence, continually turning the Eels away.
Typically renowned for their exciting brand of attacking football, the Green Machine of 2019 are of a new era. They have built their early season success without the ball in hand and Sunday night was no exception.
The Eels were also impressive in defence, at least in the early stages.
Despite coming up with nine errors and handing Canberra 62% of the ball in the first half, Parramatta restricted their opposition to just one try.
It was a determined defensive effort from last year's wooden spoon recipients.
The only try of the half came to Josh Papalii whose footwork and power broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. A late penalty goal pushed their lead out to eight at the break.
Parramatta had the first try-scoring opportunity of the second half when Marata Niukore steamed through the middle off a short ball from Mitchell Moses. But the second rower was denied after he was pulled up by Charnze Nicoll-Klockstad and it proved a wasted opportunity as the ball spilled into touch off the following play.
Errors continued to cost Brad Arthur's men as they squandered another full set on Canberra's line minutes later. Their third mistake within six minutes proved costly, with Elliot Whitehead toeing forward a Josh Hodgson grubber to score Canberra's second.
While the Eels had their chances to stage a comeback, they just couldn't hold onto the ball. And eventually the home side sealed the win, Jack Wighton soaring onto a Sam Williams bomb to score in the 61st minute.
A late field goal extended the win to 19 points.
Both Joe Tapine (ankle) and Blake Ferguson (ribs) left the field during the game and could be facing stints on the sideline.
Next week Canberra will look to add to Brisbane's woes when the host Anthony Seibold's men while Parramatta take on the Tigers in their first game at Bankwest Stadium.
Canberra Raiders 19 - Parramatta Eels 0
Venue: GIO Stadium Canberra
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 8 Parramatta Eels 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Papalii
2 points - John Bateman
1 points - Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
CANBERRA RAIDERS (19)
Tries: Josh Papalii, Elliot Whitehead, Jack Wighton
Field Goals: Sam Williams (1/1)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1)
PARRAMATTA EELS (0)