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Canberra hangs tough for 22-18 win against Wests Tigers

Canberra have fended off a late West Tigers fightback to secure an important 22-18 NRL victory.

Canberra have fended off a late West Tigers fightback to secure an important 22-18 NRL victory. Photo: AAP

Canberra has survived an error-ridden first half and a Wests Tigers fightback to snatch a 22-18 victory to keep alive its NRL top-four finals hopes.

The Tigers had the chance to steal an unlikely win at the death but veteran winger David Nofoaluma failed to take a Luke Brooks kick on the full and although he kept the ball alive to pass back into Starford To’a, the centre was taken into touch.

However while Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was already celebrating, the tackle on To’a by Jack Wighton was deemed high, giving the visitors an extra play although they were unable to take advantage.

“It’s handy to get the two points but that’s about the only thing we got,” Stuart said.

“Our biggest enemy is us – you’re not going to get to the standard when you complete four out of 10.

“We were chasing the opportunity that was there for us and we just didn’t execute it.”

Canberra centre Sebastian Kris summed up his team’s rollercoaster performance in the Sunday clash at GIO Stadium, scoring two tries before limping off with a hamstring injury.

While the Raiders produced some moments of brilliance, Stuart would have been pulling his hair out during the first half with his team only completing 13 of 23 sets and making 10 errors.

They weren’t alone, with the Tigers also butchering a number of attacking opportunities for Canberra to lead 10-6 at the break.

Neither side could get across the line in the opening 25 minutes before a Wighton kick saw Kris pounce.

The Raiders pushed the lead out to 10-0 three minutes later when Hudson Young ran on to short ball from dummy-half Zac Woolford.

The Tigers got in on the try-scoring action when Nofoaluma charged downfield after an intercept and sent a soaring pass across to Brooks, who found winger Charlie Staines to touch down.

Four minutes into the second half, Kris raced almost 60 metres to score but immediately exited the field, with his team ahead 16-6.

It looked like the Raiders would skip away but star hooker Api Koroisau put a pin-point kick into the in-goal for Nofoaluma and it was game on again.

The teams traded tries to set up a thrilling finale, with Koroisau’s boot providing a try for Brooks with 10 minutes to play.

The Tigers, who are headed for the wooden spoon, scrambled but the home side’s defence was able to hold firm, with the win pushing them up to fifth on the ladder.

Tim Sheens, making his first appearance as coach at Canberra Stadium since 2012, said luck wasn’t on his team’s side.

“We’ve had one or two major hiccups but we’re competing every week,” Sheens said.

“It didn’t happen for us but I’m still very, very happy with the effort that was made.

“We scored some nice tries and suffered some bad luck as well.”

-AAP
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