Raiders embarrassed as Benji weaves his magic
Canberra 0 Wests Tigers 40
All smiles ... Robbie Farah high-fives Liam Fulton after his pass helped him cross the line for a first-half try. Photo: Images
DAVID FURNER was embarrassed while stand-in captain David Shillington rated it one of the Raiders' worst losses in front of their home fans.
By any measure, what the Raiders dished up in last night's humiliation at the hands of Wests Tigers was nothing short of dreadful.
The cub makes a statement ... Curtis Sironen barges past three Raiders players to score his first ever try for the Tigers. Photo: Getty Images
"Embarrassing,'' Raiders coach Furner said. "Pretty much sums a game where we made every error possible. I think we were in the best three completing sides in the competition [earlier this season] and we threw that out tonight.''
With Benji Marshall pulling the strings and skipper Robbie Farah directing traffic around the ruck, the Tigers are one of the form sides of the NRL, having won six straight.
But that is no excuse for an abysmal display which has placed this Raiders side in the record books for all the wrong reasons.
You have to go back to 1985 to find a bigger losing margin at home in the club's 31-year history, when the Raiders were belted 50-6 by the Dragons at Seiffert Oval.
In fact, it was the most comprehensive defeat at Canberra Stadium in Raiders history.
It is also only the second time the Raiders have been held scoreless at home, following last year's 26-0 loss to Melbourne.
The 9210 fans who braved the dreadful conditions would have left believing the Raiders are at long odds to make the finals.
The Raiders have lost five of their past six games, the only victory in that stretch coming against the struggling Parramatta, and are 4-8 at the halfway point of the season.
"Definitely one of the worst losses we had here at home,'' Shillington said. ''It's disappointing with the amount of fans we had come out and brave the cold.
"That individual accountability with errors and penalties as well, [we wanted] to put the pressure on them and we gave away a cheap penalty … Our goal-line defence was pretty soft tonight.''
The Raiders shot themselves in the foot time and time again with schoolboy errors.
Two moments either side of half-time highlighted their plight.
First, prop Dane Tilse dropped a ball when the Raiders had a restart 20m out from the Tigers' line.
Then, on the first tackle after the break and staring down the barrel of a 20-0 deficit, forward Sam Mataora made a reckless offload, giving the Tigers perfect field position.
Marshall made them pay immediately, delivering a sensational grubber kick for Beau Ryan to score in the corner.
All up, the Raiders had a measly 39 per cent possession and only completed 63 per cent of their sets.
The Raiders missed twice as many tackles (36 to 21) and failed to make a single line break for the entire game.
The Tigers are starting to live up to their pre-season favouritism, heading into Friday night's blockbuster against Melbourne. Renowned for their attacking brilliance, Tigers coach Tim Sheens was especially pleased with his side's ability to keep their line intact.
"You don't keep the Raiders to nil at home too often, and we haven't kept too many sides at home to nil for quite a while,'' Sheens said. "The boys stuck hard to what we worked at and we got the result.''
WESTS TIGERS 40 (R Farah L Fulton C Lawrence B Murdoch-Masila B Ryan C Sironen M Utai tries B Marshall 6 goals) bt RAIDERS 0 at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Phil Haines. Crowd: 9,210.