Hat-trick hero too classy for Panthers, plucky Raiders fail to stick to blueprint: 3 Big Hits

After a dominant early period Stephen Crichton dived over for the first try of the day to give the Panthers the lead before a try to Joseph Tapine saw the scores locked up.

However, the Panthers took the lead again with a try to skipper Isaah Yeo six minutes out from halftime, before a Nathan Cleary penalty goal made it 14-6 at halftime.

The Panthers picked up where they left off in the second half with Crichton grabbing a double, including a penalty try to seal his hat-trick and put the home side in the box seat.

Sharks snatch win over Eels after siren

The dramatic finish was a fitting climax to a see-sawing battle between the Sharks and Eels, in which Hynes and rival halfback Mitchell Moses were both outstanding for their teams.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the Cronulla fans who jumped to their feet when Matt Moylan put Teig Wilton over in the 80th minute to give Hynes the opportunity to claim the first win under new coach Craig Fitzgibbon.     

Cowboys outmuscle Raiders in Townsville

Led by superstar lock Jason Taumalolo and star recruit Chad Townsend, North Queensland dominated possession and field position before running over the top of Canberra late in the match.

Taumalolo ran a game high 161 metres with the ball and was supported by young forwards Jeremiah Nanai, Tom Gilbert, Griffin Neame and Heilum Luki as they powered through the middle of the ruck.

Epic win masks Ricky’s injury nightmare as Sharks new halves come unstuck: 3 Big Hits

It looked for all money like Canberra had brought back the Faders tag when they coughed up an 18-6 lead to trail 19-18 with less than five minutes to go after Matt Moylan kicked his first field goal since 2016.

It brought back memories of last year’s constant heartbreaks when they blew seven double-digit leads to eventually miss the finals.

But perhaps the Green Machine has turned a new leaf this season because they lifted in the face of adversity to snatch back the lead at the death when Young fought through some flimsy defence to send Ricky Stuart into raptures.

‘B*****’: Ricky targeted AGAIN as Raiders star’s partner tees off over Round 1 snub

Kate Ford, the girlfriend of Raiders star Ryan Sutton, has taken to Instagram appearing to take a shot at Canberra coach Ricky Stuart after the English forward was left out of the club’s team for the opening round of the NRL season.

The Raiders showed off a new-look team when the side was announced on Tuesday night with a string of selection surprises, including the club debuts of James Schiller and Adam Elliott.

Sutton was left as a replacement in the No. 18 jumper, despite having an impressive season where he played 22 games in 2021.

Des: We'll benefit from test provided by rugged Raiders

Hasler's men trailed 12-0 at half-time after Canberra dominated with some committed defence but found enough of a groove to sweep home and put themselves in the top four for the time being.

A 78th-minute field goal from Daly Cherry-Evans ended up the difference as Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scored with 30 seconds to go.

"We probably needed that game, actually, and it's come at a good time," Hasler said after Friday's match at Suncorp Stadium.

Raiders v Sea Eagles: Lui in for Soliola; Turbo ruled out

An ill-timed last-start loss to the Storm saw the Raiders slip just outside the eight and with a round 25 rematch with the Roosters, who thumped Canberra 44-16 in round 12, on their schedule the Green Machine cannot afford to drop another point.

Keeping relatively close to a Melbourne side that has scored points for fun this season will give Ricky Stuart's men some hope but they will be backing up against another red-hot attacking outfit with the Sea Eagles boasting threats all over the park.

Storm v Raiders: NAS ruled out; Simonsson-Rapana switch

No disrespect to Canberra's recent opposition, but the Eels (round 19) were the only side ahead of them on the table. The Storm are perched right on top of the ladder and present a another jump in standards altogether.

The fact Melbourne only have a five-day turn around after a solid battle with Manly, might help Ricky Stuart's men. But Canberra will need to be a lot more threatening in attack than what they've shown recently.

Hodgson chasing finals mentality to bring down Storm

The Raiders bounced back from a lacklustre effort against Newcastle a fortnight ago to record a 20-12 win over the Dragons to keep themselves in the top eight with four rounds remaining.

While the ninth-placed Knights and 10th-placed Sharks will battle for two competition points this weekend, the Raiders will look to deny the Storm an 18th consecutive win.

Canberra have one of the better records against Melbourne in recent seasons and Hodgson believes they can rise to the challenge despite sliding down the ladder this season.

Stacked roster means all Raiders spots up for grabs

After a challenging 2020 season in which Canberra fell a game short of a return to the grand final, the depth at the club has been boosted by the performances of several younger players in an impressive second half of the year.

Croker even includes his own spot as one that will have to be won back.

The likes of Matt Timoko and Harley Smith-Shields are doing the hard yards at training to stake their claim for Croker's centre position in the opening rounds of 2021 while the 30-year-old continues his recovery from off-season shoulder surgery.