League: Dogs left with tails between legs

Raiders 58
Bulldogs 18

There's nothing quite like playing the Bulldogs to regain some confidence.

Last night the Raiders ran riot against a Bulldogs side who knew their playoffs aspirations were on the line but who defended like they were already thinking about their end-of-season holiday. The Raiders might have found more opposition in a training run against the under-20 side.

Admittedly, the Doggies have been hit hard by injuries this season, including ones to Sonny Bill Williams and fullback Luke Patten, but it doesn't account for the 38 missed tackles last night.

Canberra made a massive 1508m to their opposition's 719m and 12 linebreaks. The only downside was an ankle injury picked up by influential halfback Todd Carney.

They led 16-0 after as many minutes and, although the Doggies recovered to trail by just 18-20 shortly before the break, piled on six more tries in the second stanza and kept their opposition scoreless to record a convincing victory.

Wins away from home don't usually come easily for the Raiders. Last night, though, they were able to pull out all of their training-ground plays as they found gaping holes in the home side's defence.

Centre Colin Best scored four tries while fullback David Milne and second-rower Joe Picker also scored two each.

The Raiders suffered a bit of a speed wobble mid-way through the opening stanza, when the 2004 champions crossed for three converted tries and reduced the gap to 18-20, but it was a false hope for Bulldogs fans optimistic enough to turn up to a sparse ANZ Stadium.

Canberra's best was their second, a brilliant 95-metre effort sparked by young Raiders winger Justin Carney, who was a promising equestrian rider before trying rugby league later in his teens, and finished off by Best.

It was horseplay for the Raiders and the trail of unhappy Bulldogs fans leaving before the final whistle told the story. Their season is in ruins and there are still 11 matches to play.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 22 Sep 2014 22:24:38 Processing Time: 539ms