Rugby League

Jordan Rapana insists Canberra Raiders stopped Gold Coast Titans winning try

Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana is adamant he stopped Gold Coast centre John Olive from grounding the ball in Saturday's controversial finish, but admitted "we just hurt ourselves" in the 24-20 fadeout.

While Olive insists he scored in the 79th minute, completing a Titans comeback from 20-6 down, Rapana believes he positioned himself under the ball to prevent the try.

Titans upset Raiders with 24-20 win

Gold Coast end Canberra’s unbeaten start to the season with a stirring 24-20 come-from-behind win.

Referee Henry Perenara awarded the try on advice from his touch judge before sending it to the NRL bunker for review.

Replays proved inconclusive, giving the officials no option but to stick with the original decision and award Gold Coast the match-winning try.

Rapana, one of Canberra's best in the match, booted the corner post in frustration after the call was handed down.

"I didn't really see the ball, [but] I know I was under it," Rapana said.

"We were a bit hard done by there, especially when you could clearly see the ball didn't hit the ground."

However Olive is convinced he scored, which gave the Gold Coast an unexpected three wins from their first four games and ended Canberra's unbeaten run.

Raiders centre Jarrod Croker argues with referee Henry Perenara.
Raiders centre Jarrod Croker argues with referee Henry Perenara. Photo: Jay Cronan

"100 per cent I got it down," Olive said.

"There was a sigh of relief when I actually got it down. I was just happy that we got the lead."

Rapana's opinion was supported by Canberra Raiders legend Gary Belcher, who commentated on the match for Fox Sports.

"I've got no problem at all with the system [referee making a decision on-field before review], I think our system is going to be as good as it's ever going to be," Belcher said.

"The problem I had is the touch judge told the ref he thought it was a try and I don't think he's put it down.

"I think the touch judge has made the mistake, but everything's done exactly as it should be.

"He thought he saw it go down, but it didn't go down. There was a hand under the ball, I was pretty sure there was."

Gold Coast Titans veteran Greg Bird hopes the NRL continues to let referees make judgment calls on tries before passing them onto the bunker for review.

Bird spoke to Nene MacDonald who was out on the wing and said he, too, saw the ball hit the ground.

"And he was pretty much standing right next to the touchie," Bird said.

"I've always been a fan of the on-field decision and it worked in our favour."

The decision was a major talking point post-match, but Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said in his media conference the Raiders shot themselves in the foot.

Canberra let a 16-0 lead slip in last week's draw at Newcastle, but paid the price this time.

"We had the opportunity to win it early in the second half and we should have done it. The top teams, they do," Stuart said.

Rapana agreed with that appraisal. The Raiders made 13 errors to Gold Coast's six, and let in tries to Ryan James and David Shillington which Stuart branded "soft".

"I think we just hurt ourselves really," Rapana said.

"At half-time we had a good lead and felt comfortable, but we gave too many penalties away and made too many errors.

"Stupid penalties cost us the game.

A win would have put Canberra outright top of the ladder, setting up a blockbuster against Canterbury at Belmore next Monday night.

Instead they face a mental test to move on and prop Jeff Lima will have surgery on his left hand this week.

"I know for myself I'm going to come out fired up next week and I'm pretty sure everyone else will," Rapana said.

"We're filthy we let this game get away and I know we'll be bouncing back even better next week."