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Loss sends Canberra from comfort zone to danger zone

Date

Jon Tuxworth

Pulled up short ... David Shillington tried to break through the Titans' line.

Pulled up short ... David Shillington tried to break through the Titans' line. Photo: Rohan Thomson

WORLD beaters one week, cannon fodder the next.

Canberra's consistency issues reared their ugly head again after they produced one of their most disappointing efforts of the year in a 38-26 loss to Gold Coast at Canberra Stadium yesterday. After clinical back-to-back wins, including last week's 40-12 upset in Melbourne, the Raiders were heavy favourites to notch a third straight victory.

Bubble burst ... Raiders' Joel Thompson after the loss.

Bubble burst ... Raiders' Joel Thompson after the loss. Photo: Rohan Thomson

But some Raiders fans in the 8240 crowd booed the players at half-time after the Titans racked up a 22-4 lead, and many headed to the turnstiles well before the match was over.

It was the lowest home attendance since 6500 watched the Raiders thrash the Panthers 74-12 in round 22, 2008.

The Raiders only avoided the blowout they deserved through an ordinary goal-kicking day from Gold Coast halfback Scott Prince (three from eight attempts) and three late Canberra tries.

Running away with it ... Raiders' Reece Robinson trys to stop William Zillman from scoring.

Running away with it ... Raiders' Reece Robinson trys to stop William Zillman from scoring. Photo: Rohan Thomson

They were never in the hunt as the Titans ran in eight tries to five thanks to a big two-try game from former Canberra fullback William Zillman, prop Luke Bailey (184 metres) and strong efforts from halves Aidan Sezer and Prince.

The loss is a savage blow to Canberra's finals hopes. The Raiders could have moved to within just two points of the top eight with a win.

Canberra began well enough when a short pass from fullback Reece Robinson found straight-running centre Blake Ferguson, who scored in the third minute. But from there it was all the Titans, who continually exposed poor defence on both edges.

Joel Thompson show his disappointment after the loss. Click for more photos

Titans hammer hapless Raiders

All the action from the Canberra Raiders' round 19 38-26 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, July 15. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Afterwards, Raiders coach David Furner stopped short of saying his side were overconfident or complacent. But Canberra clearly have mentality issues they need to resolve after again failing to perform in a game they were expected to win.

Their fans must be tearing their hair out - their side can beat the competition leaders on the road, but fail to beat the Titans at home.

''I don't know if that first try by us was a good thing because I think we felt it [the win] was just going to happen,'' Furner said. ''We had two good wins and we have a habit of not starting well after those, [we get] a little bit comfortable.''

Armed … Luke O'Dwyer tackles Blake Ferguson.

Armed … Luke O'Dwyer tackles Blake Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images

Raiders skipper David Shillington was unsure whether his side had put the cart before the horse.

''I don't know if we got ahead of ourselves, it's hard to say,'' Shillington said. ''The thing that's won us the last two games has been our completions, which have been around 80-85 per cent [yesterday's was 73 per cent] and once again our on-line defence was really poor. As captain I have to lead by example, Furnsey gave me a spray at half-time about getting up and getting the boys forward off the line.''

Shillington described the team being booed by its own fans as ''obviously not good''.

''I was pretty excited about our momentum the last couple of weeks and our intention was to have a good win for our home fans and give them something to cheer about after a tough 18 months,'' he said.

Raiders second-rower Josh Papalii left the field late in the match with a knee injury, but the club is confident he has only suffered a cork and bone bruising. Sezer will also have scans after also failing to complete the game with an injured hand.

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright said they were inspired by the courage of returning forwards Bailey and Nate Myles, both outstanding despite carrying injuries.

GOLD COAST 38 (Steve Michaels 2, William Zillman 2, Beau Falloon, Kevin Gordon, Luke Douglas, Luke O’Dwyer tries; Scott Prince 3 goals)

CANBERRA 26 (Blake Ferguson, Sam Williams, Jarrod Croker, Reece Robinson, Joel Thompson tries; Croker 3 goals). Crowd: 8240.

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NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
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NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
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SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
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PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 6
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STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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Round 7
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CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
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WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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Round 8
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Round 9
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CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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Round 10
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STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
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Round 11
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SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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Round 12
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Round 13
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SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
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Round 15
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Round 16
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NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
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MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
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WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
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PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
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NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
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SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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Round 20
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NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
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CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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Round 21
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WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 19:45WIN
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SOU vs CBY 19:45ANZ
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SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU vs BRI 19:45AS
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MAN vs SYD 19:45BO
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MEL vs NQL 19:30AAMI
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GCT vs STG 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:45SUN
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SYD vs SOU 19:45AS
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