Canberra vs St George Illawarra Results & Match Report

The Raiders survived a comeback from the Dragons to seal a crucial 24-22 win at GIO Stadium to keep their final hopes alive.

It was a thrilling finish that was nearly identical to the controversial Round 16 finish – except this time it was the Raiders who got the hang of it.

Mat Feagai paused and kicked as he got up to play the ball. Corey Harawira-Naera made the tackle and the Dragons begged the referee for a penalty but to no avail.

The home side struck first with a try in the opening minute, only for the Dragons to hit back five minutes later through youngster Talatau Amone, who netted a hat-trick and set up a 75th-minute try to keep the ball going. game alive.

MATCH CENTRE: Raiders vs Dragons live updates, video, stats

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DEJA VU IN CRAZY FINISH

The end of Sunday’s game will be talked about for days after the Raiders were saved at the whistle in an “almost identical” situation to how they lost in Round 16.

With less than a minute remaining, Ben Hunt transferred the ball to Mat Feagai who took off on the pitch before finally being knocked down by Corey Harawira-Naera.

Harawira-Naera appeared to have tried to hold Feagai back and the Dragons knocked down as he got up to play the ball.

The Dragons players begged referee Adam Gee for a penalty but weren’t so lucky.

“It’s almost identical…Round 16 starts again in reverse,” Fox League commentator Brenton Speed ​​said.

“The Dragons are thinking ‘where is our penalty?’ which the Raiders didn’t have in Wollongong. But Adam Gee says it’s full-time and Canberra’s season is alive.

“The Dragons finished in 2022. They’ll be talking about that ending for a little while…almost the miracle.”

Just six weeks ago, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was fuming over a controversial recall in Round 16 – the last time these two teams met.

As the clock ticked down, two Dragons players looked to hold down a Raider to slow play and as a result, the Raiders were dealt a six-again. But we believed it should have been a ruck penalty – especially because Ben Hunt was not square at the scorer.

THE FUTURE OF THE YOUNG DRAGON

After signing a contract extension, Dragons youngster Talatau Amone enjoyed his best NRL game to date.

Amone scored a hat-trick and set up a try in the final minutes in a big turnaround from his ill-fated performance against the Sharks just over a week ago.

The 20-year-old scored a brace in the opening 20 minutes to quickly put Round 21 behind him.

“I don’t think he ran three or four times last week, but he’s already scored two tries and done about five runs – a big difference in the young man,” said Fox League’s Shane Flanagan.

He then scored his third in the 67th minute to keep the Dragons in the game.

“He had a bad week last week, but today he was dangerous every time he touched the ball,” Flanagan said.

“We know what talent he has, he’s going to be an NRL player for a long time and he’s showing it today.”

But Amone wasn’t finished. The rising five-eighth, who signed a one-year extension on Thursday, threw a precise pass with five minutes left to set up a grandstand finish.

It was that moment in an impressive game from the youngster that Flanagan believes could set him up for the future.

“This young man had a day out,” he said.

“He scored three tries, then on the last tackle he goes down the right side and comes up with a nice pass over two of his teammates to hit Tautau Moga in the chest.

“It could be the making of Junior Amone.

“We’ve always known how talented he is, but to have a full 80 minute performance like he did today will give him a huge amount of confidence going forward.”

Along with his three tries and a try assist, Amone had seven tackle busts, three line breaks, a line break assist and an offload.

‘X-FACTOR’ SAVAGE STARS FOR RAIDERS

Xavier Savage’s injection is just what the Raiders needed with the elusive fullback who had two tries in their crucial win on Sunday.

Savage missed last week with an ankle injury but was on a mission in his return game.

The 20-year-old’s skill was on display early when he sent veteran winger Jordan Rapana into the corner in the 27th minute with a slick ball.

“Xavier Savage’s deft touch…He fascinated the Dragons,” Fox League commentator Brenton Speed ​​said.

Shane Flanagan added, “The speed of Xavier’s Savage makes Tautau Moga think.”

Savage then set up another try in the first minute of the second half with a grubber for Albert Hopoate to score.

He finished the game with 158 yards rushed, three tackle saves, two assists and an offload to go along with his two assists.

“Savage added a real x-factor, like we thought, for the Raiders,” Michael Ennis said.

TEAMS

Raiders: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Emre Guler 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Corey Harawira-Naera. Substitute player: 18. James Schiller

Dragons: 21. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 1. Moses Mbye 4. Zac Lomax 5. Tautau Moga 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Josh Mcguire 12. Jaydn Su ‘A 3. Jack Bird 13. Michael Molo 15. Aaron Woods 16. Tyrell Fuimaono 17. Billy Burns. Substitute player: 20. Jaiyden Hunt

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Amanda J. Marsh