The Canberra Raiders U20s held off a late fight back to defeat the Woden Valley Rams 28–22 at Phillip Oval on Saturday.
Rebounding after their first loss of the season last week, the Raiders jumped out of the blocks with a 10–0 lead.
After stoppages due to injuries to Raiders’ second rower Lachlan Lewis and Rams’ half Tyler Jones, Woden Valley clawed back into the contest with two tries to level the scores.
A try to centre Caleb Esera gave the Raiders a 14-10 lead heading into half time.
The Raiders took control once again after the break, running in two tries before Rams’ lock Steven Ferry was sent off after a late shot on Raiders’ halfback Jordan Williams.
Against a 12-man Rams side, the Raiders pushed their lead to 18 points with 20 minutes remaining.
Despite the major setback, the Rams sprung to life in the final quarter scoring three consecutive tries to cut the Raiders’ lead to just six.
A late try scoring opportunity was then denied by Raiders’ fullback Manase Kaho who put his body on the line to defuse a grubber, with the Raiders holding on for the win.
The Raiders remain in first on the ladder and will face the Queanbeyan Blues in Round 8 at Seiffert Oval on Saturday, 12 September.
Canberra Raiders U20s 28 (Thomas Croker, Caleb Esera, Brigham Moeakiola, Sila Titiuti, Gordon Whippy, Jordan Williams tries; Temple Rupapera 2 goals) def. Woden Valley Rams 22 (Daniel Desmet, Brandon Donnelly, Stephen Henderson, Daine Spencer, Scott Swanson tries; Brayden Robertson goal) at Phillip Oval.
Raiders team list
1 Manase Kaho
2 Thomas Croker
3 Brigham Moeakiola
4 Caleb Esera
5 Temple Rupapera
6 Mitch Souter
19 Jordan Williams
8 Sila Titiuti
9 Joe Roberts
10 Keaton Walkington-Meads
11 Lachlan Lewis
12 Matthew Fellows
13 Trey Mooney
14 Adrian Trevilyan
15 Jayden Clarkson
16 Josh Allen
17 Gordon Whippy