League: Shillington in frame for Anzac call-up

David Shillington. Photo / Getty Images
David Shillington. Photo / Getty Images

Canberra prop David Shillington has put himself back in the box seat for Kangaroos selection two weeks out from the Test against New Zealand with a dominant display against the Sydney Roosters.

Shillington was instrumental in the Raiders' 24-22 comeback victory on Sunday night, making 144 metres in 14 ball carries and forcing several turnovers with his confrontational defence.

An impressive Sonny Bill Williams (97m) was the only Rooster forward who made more metres throughout the entire game than Shillington's first-half effort of 85 metres.

Raiders coach David Furner singled out his co-captain's performance as the driver behind the 16-point comeback.

"We built some pressure there that we didn't do in the first half and got some repeat sets, building momentum," Furner said.

"The bloke sitting next to me (Shillington) was a big part of that. He led very well."

With the Raiders to take on the Warriors at home on Saturday and the trans-Tasman Test match in Canberra scheduled for April 19, Shillington could find himself smashing up against two Kiwi forward packs in the nation's capital in consecutive weeks.

The Roosters were just 35 minutes away from becoming the second team in rugby league history to win three consecutive games without conceding a point before the Raiders ran in four second-half tries.

Man-of-the-match Sam Williams had a hand in three of them.

It will be a huge boost for the 22-year-old halfback, who admits he's copped his fair share of criticism over the past few weeks.

"I know when the team is losing that the halves come under scrutiny so I tried to stay away from it as much as possible," Williams said.

"I'm getting a bit more involved and a little bit more hands on with the ball.

"I took a bit of confidence away from that.'

The other standout Raider was centre Jarrod Croker.

Playing his 100th NRL game, Croker said he couldn't have written the script any better himself after holding his nerve to kick the match-winning conversion of his own 75th-minute try.

Sonny Bill Williams once again starred for the Roosters, setting up the visitors' final try of the night when he split the Raiders defence and threw a no-look pass back inside to Anthony Minichiello.

It was a timely performance from Williams, who faces the biggest challenge of his NRL comeback on Friday night when he takes on his old club the Bulldogs in what is certain to be a fiery exchange at Allianz Stadium.

-AAP

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