The Canberra Raiders have come away with a thrilling 20-19 win over the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium, thanks to a controversial penalty against Isaiah Papali’i in the dying moments of the game. The penalty, awarded for diving at Jamal Fogarty’s legs, gave the Raiders the chance to kick a penalty goal and seal the win, leaving the Tigers coach Tim Sheens frustrated. Speaking after the game, Sheens held back on expressing his full opinion about the referee’s call, saying he would voice his concerns to officials but didn’t want to “buy into it” like Ricky Stuart did, which costs him $10,000.
For former Tigers coach Michael Maguire, who now works with the Raiders, the result would have been particularly sweet. The former South Sydney Rabbitohs coach was sacked by the Tigers almost a year ago and since joining the Raiders, has been eyeing this game as a chance to get revenge on his old team. And with his inside knowledge of the Tigers’ game plan, the Raiders managed to edge out the win.
The Tigers performed poorly for much of the game, falling behind by 18 points with only 11 minutes remaining. But with Tom Starling sin-binned, the Tigers suddenly found gaps in the Raiders’ defence and scored three converted tries in just five minutes, before taking the lead with a field goal from Luke Brooks. However, a missed field goal attempt from Jamal Fogarty was followed by the contentious penalty, which the Raiders converted to snatch victory.
The result leaves the Raiders on the cusp of the top eight, while the Tigers’ fortunes continue to fluctuate. The team has had moments of success, such as their recent win over the Cowboys, but inconsistent form has held them back. Their kicking game was poor against the Raiders, and they were made to pay for it, with Fogarty scoring two tries from kicks he grubbered into the posts.
Despite the controversial penalty decision, the game was a thrilling spectacle for fans. Jordan Rapana scored his 100th NRL try for the Raiders, while John Bateman finally got a chance to play against his former team after returning from Wigan. And with the Raiders’ victory, Michael Maguire can be assured that his revenge mission was a success.