Raiders impress to down Storm, Warriors close to perfect

By Sports Desk May 30, 2020

Canberra Raiders returned to NRL action with a commanding 22-6 win over Melbourne Storm to maintain their 100 per cent record.

Last year's Grand Final losers got the better of the 2019 minor premiers, earning a third straight victory at the Storm's home ground.

George Williams pulled the strings in assisting tries for Nick Cotric and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, with the Raiders at full throttle following the two-month coronavirus-enforced hiatus. 

Jordan Rapana also got in on the act, with Joseph Tapine's last-gasp try the only score of the second half in Melbourne.

New Zealand Warriors set the bar high in an 18-0 defeat of St George-Illawarra Dragons.

The Warriors completed their first 44 sets in a stunning display, with Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Eliesa Katoa and Kodi Nikorima touching down at Central Coast Stadium.

It is now three defeats from three for the Dragons, while this was a first win for the Warriors.

Cronulla Sharks are also winless from their opening three games, with Wests Tigers condemning them to a 28-16 loss.

Despite trailing 16-10 at the break, the Tigers ran in 18 unanswered points after the interval.

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  • 'I don't give a s***' - Raiders coach Stuart not interested in doubters despite Hodgson injury 'I don't give a s***' - Raiders coach Stuart not interested in doubters despite Hodgson injury

    Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said "I don't give a s***" about the doubters after Josh Hodgson was added to their long injury list in Saturday's defeat to Melbourne Storm.

    Hooker Hodgson is suspected to have suffered an ACL injury in Canberra's 20-14 loss to the Storm, which also saw them lose Bailey Simonsson to a shoulder injury.

    With John Bateman (shoulder), Sia Soliola (facial fractures), Corey Horsburgh (foot) and Emre Guler (ankle) all on the sideline, the scale of the Raiders' injury problems is sure to lead to questions as to whether they can return to the Grand Final, having lost the showpiece to Sydney Roosters last season.

    Stuart, though, has little time for any downbeat assessments of his team.

    "I don't give a s*** what you think," said Stuart. "We won't put our heads down. That I promise.

    "I have never had an injury list like this, but I just asked the boys to keep on turning up with same attitude and desire. I just want that effort that we had tonight."

    On the injury to Hodgson, Stuart said: "It doesn't look good. He has gone for scans but yeah it looks like I have now lost four players for a long time."

  • Staines targets regular wing spot after blistering Panthers debut Staines targets regular wing spot after blistering Panthers debut

    Charlie Staines hopes to force his way into the regular Penrith Panthers XIII after a spectacular NRL debut on Saturday.

    The 19-year-old scored four tries as the Panthers claimed a 56-24 win over Cronulla Sharks to move top of the standings.

    Staines became the first player to score four debut tries since Jordan Atkins for the Gold Coast Titans 12 years ago and one of just six to achieve the feat in the game's 112-year history in Australia.

    Having only earned a starting spot after Dean Whare suffered an injury on Thursday, Staines wants to keep his place in the team even though his preferred position is full-back.

    "Knowing what that feels like now, I want to be doing that every week," he said, as per the NRL website.

    "I am just going to keep working hard at training and trying to get that wing spot if I can.

    "I was a bit anxious going in because one of the boys got hurt and I didn't know what to expect. I was a bit nervous and I just tried to stay calm.

    "I liked Melbourne growing up – Billy Slater and those fellows – but I have got a lot of pride in this jersey and I am very grateful to be playing for this club."

    Staines was roared on by a group of friends and family that had travelled from his native Forbes, around five hours east of Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, to watch him make his bow.

    "It's unreal that they all travelled up from Forbes," he said.

    "Mum and dad always drove me everywhere for footy, wherever I needed to go, and for them to be here was amazing."

     

  • Teenager Staines scores four on stunning debut as Panthers hammer Sharks Teenager Staines scores four on stunning debut as Panthers hammer Sharks

    Teenager Charlie Staines enjoyed an unforgettable NRL debut as the Penrith Panthers moved top of the standings with a thumping win over the Cronulla Sharks.

    Backed by a group of friends who had travelled to Netstrata Jubilee Oval, the 19-year-old scored four tries as the Panthers won 56-24 to move above the Parramatta Eels, having played a game more.

    Staines is the first player to score four debut tries since Jordan Atkins for the Gold Coast Titans 12 years ago.

    The Panthers dominated from the off and were 16-0 ahead after 20 minutes, Brent Naden, Liam Martin and Stephen Crichton scoring tries and Nathan Cleary twice adding the extras.

    Staines' first came after 23 minutes as he finished a slick backline move before he set up Dylan Edwards to add another two minutes later.

    The Sharks rallied through Briton Nikora and Blayke Brailey before half-time but Staines and Billy Burns strengthened the Panthers' advantage despite the loss of captain James Tamou to the sin bin.

    A Cleary penalty and another Crichton try put paid to any hopes of a comeback after Jesse Ramien went over, and Staines made sure the headlines belonged to him with two further tries in the final seven minutes.

    In the late game on Saturday, Melbourne Storm stood firm in the face of late pressure to claim a 20-14 win over the Canberra Raiders, who lost Josh Hodgson to a suspected ACL injury after 28 minutes.

    Storm were 12-6 up at half-time at GIO Stadium, Brenko Lee and Josh Addo-Carr going over either side of a Josh Papalii try.

    Ryan Papenhuyzen stretched the lead after the interval, gathering a kick and racing 90 yards down the right wing before dotting down, but Nick Cotric reduced the arrears with 13 minutes left.

    Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scored in the final minute but it was not enough for the Raiders, who slip four points behind third-place Storm.

    The Brisbane Broncos had an easier time of things against the struggling Canterbury Bulldogs, winning 26-8 at Suncorp Stadium.

    Jamayne Isaako scored two of his side's five tries to add to six points with the boot, although a knee injury to captain Alex Glenn soured celebrations.

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