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Shillington blasts 'disgraceful' Raiders

Panthers 32 Raiders 10

Raiders second-rower Josh Papalii is wrapped up. Click for more photos

Panthers dominate the Raiders

Action from Penrith's 32-10 round one NRL win over Canberra. Photo: Getty Images

Canberra Raiders skipper David Shillington needed just one word - "disgraceful" - to describe his side’s 32-10 loss at Penrith on Sunday.

And no one was arguing after Canberra served up an insipid, ill-disciplined and error-ridden performance to start its season.

Name any schoolboy error possible in rugby league, and the Raiders were likely guilty of it.

Caught on the final tackle. Forward passes out of dummy-half. Handling errors coming out of danger. Dumb penalties.

All these blemishes were on the Raiders' rap sheet, and Shillington conceded the mental frailties Canberra is sometimes accused of came to the fore.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, not so much technical stuff, the boys just have to get their heads right,’’ Shillington said.

“As soon as we work on that we’re going to be a great team, if we can’t get over it we’re going to struggle.’’

The loss was compounded by another injury to fullback Josh Dugan, who was virtually a passenger after suffering rib cartilage damage midway through the first half.

He also limped from Centrebet Stadium with ice strapped around his left thigh, but he insisted it was only a cork.

Canberra lost the penalty count 7-6, but they conceded them at the worst possible times.

The referees have made a point of trying to speed up the play-the-ball in round one, and Canberra was penalised for a string of ruck infringements.

“There’s no confusion [with the new interpretations] with the players, we’ve been told this all year with our opposed sessions, when the refs have been coming down,’’ Shillington said.

“We’ve known for months, it’s about the boys being more disciplined.

“We talked about completing sets all week but ball security wasn’t high on our agenda apparently, we were never going to win that game.’’

Asked if some players were over-confident against a Panthers side which finished 15th last year, Shillington said: “Maybe some individuals, yeah.’’

Told of Shillington’s comments, Raiders coach David Furner said: “Gee I hope not, I’ll get that out of them pretty quick.

“I did talk about we were going to be heading into a street fight game and they’d be scrapping for everything.

“We had an opportunity to get over that side and we didn’t take it.’’

Canberra entered the game as favourites after strike players Josh Dugan (infection) and Jarrod Croker (knee) were late inclusions, but the Raiders were their own worst enemies from the outset.

Played in very hot conditions, Penrith were gift-wrapped a heap of possession and field position early, but the Raiders nearly took the lead against the run of play.

Earl decided not to pass inside to unmarked centre Blake Ferguson, and dropped the ball over the line attempting to ground it in the corner.

It would have proven a big mental blow for the Panthers, who completely dictated the opening 20 minutes.

Instead Penrith scored five tries to one to give its fans hope of a climb up the ladder this season.

Down 18-6, the Raiders got back in the game when Ferguson scooped up a loose pass from five-eighth Josh McCrone to score in the corner, and reduce the deficit to 18-10.

But a penalty goal and late tries to former Raiders Nathan Smith and Nigel Plum compounded Canberra’s misery.

Reece Robinson missed the game with back spasms, but is expected to be fit for next Sunday’s clash against the Titans on the Gold Coast.

The loss capped a tough day for the Raiders, who also went down 40-16 to the Panthers in the Holden Cup under-20s fixture.

PENRITH PANTHERS 32 (L Coote S Manu N Plum J Segeyaro N Smith tries L Walsh 6 goals) bt CANBERRA RAIDERS 10 (B Ferguson J McCrone tries J Croker goal) at Centrebet Stadium. Referee: Adam Devcich, Henry Perenara. Crowd: 10,882.

7 comments so far

  • Sandor should spend less time looking in the mirror and more time practicing the basics of rugby league...

    Juan Benno
    Date and time
    March 10, 2013, 7:46PM
    • Business as usual then.

      Date and time
      March 11, 2013, 1:17AM
      • Sandor Earl....disgrace absolute joy boy.. Should have been pulled from he paddock after 15 minutes. Was really hoping for a big start to the season....

        Sparkles everingham
        Date and time
        March 11, 2013, 8:24AM
        • It would appear that Dugan's body is not up to the rigors of Rugby League. Maybe he shoud switch to Rugy Union. At this point in time Reece Robinson or Haydon Hodge would do a much better job at fullback. Dugan obviously has freakish skills however if all we see
          is him down on his haunches or off the field with injury then his long term future with the
          Raiders needs to be revisited when we have other talented footballers who will at least give us some value for salary cap expenditure.

          Date and time
          March 11, 2013, 10:38AM
          • Yep,the Raiders seem to be an up and down team.They couln't have an excuse about playing in the western suburbs heat because jn summer the A.C.T. is more like Hay, Henty and hell. One of my choices along with St.George, Parramatta, Newcastle and the Panthers to finish at the lower end of the Table. In the first 3 to 4 rounds anything can happen, look at the Panthers in 2003. The Raiders no longer recruit all those topgrade queenslanders they used to because the northern teams entered the NRL comp. The Panthers appear to be assembling a very good mobile forward pack with Elijah Taylor arriving in 2014 and maybe two other top forwards.

            Date and time
            March 11, 2013, 1:10PM
            • No doubt the Raiders were their own worst enemies (as usual) but having lived & played in: Western Sydney (Richmond, next-door to Penrith), Wagga & Canberra, I can tell you that summer conditions in Penrith are NOTHING like Canberra or western NSW. Our region is hot & DRY, Penrith (& all the Sydney basin) is incredibly humid - which is what saps energy & concentration. Team that with over-confidence & voila, Raiders off to their usual start. As someone who was at their first home game & hundreds since then, they need to work on attitude first. The rest will follow.

              Date and time
              March 12, 2013, 4:42AM
              • The Raiders imports from Sydney-Earl,Ferguson; from Brisbane-Lee,Shillington,Papalii,Berrigan from North Coast region-Edwards,Fensom are all adults who were raised and played in hot and HUMID places. Also McCrone,another Temora import spent 2 seasons with the Panthers Hawkesbury reserve grade team, Windsor so he would be used to that heat.So the heat is no excuse and the Panthers have plenty of imports too. Yes and the Raiders ONLY have four firstgrade players who came out of their very geographically- wide junior league weekend comps,namely-Dugan,Croker,Williams,White. Many of us Anglos have/had parents who came from the country after the Depression. The old western countrytowns saying is that Hay,Henty and Hades are hotttt.

                Date and time
                March 13, 2013, 6:03PM

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