NRL Round 1 Titans v Raiders.
NRL Round 1 Titans v Raiders.

English recruit in monster debut

England international John Bateman has produced a stellar NRL debut to help Canberra to a 21-0 shut-out of Gold Coast on Sunday night.

Bateman, who signed from Wigan over the off-season, ran the most metres of any player on the field in the game (163), while making the most tackles of any Raiders player.

The Raiders have the NRL's worst winning record in Queensland, so it was impressive they were able to keep a team scoreless for the first time since 2013.

 

John Bateman on debut.
John Bateman on debut.

 

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In a game littered with errors it was the Raiders who made the better of their opportunities in an encouraging performance by the new-look side.

 

The Titans will sweat on the fitness of both halves, with Ashley Taylor a late scratching and Tyrone Roberts departing inside the opening 15 minutes.

 

Halfback Taylor couldn't overcome a nagging quadriceps complaint, while a ginger Roberts was helped off with a likely achilles injury.

 

That forced centre Tyrone Peachey into the halves to partner AJ Brimson, who was originally selected on the bench.

 

Taylor is hopeful of returning next week and, while initial reports were that Roberts had not ruptured the tendon, the five-eighth could still face an extended stint on the sideline.

 

Coach Ricky Stuart watches on in the rain.
Coach Ricky Stuart watches on in the rain.

 

The cobbled-together pair weren't able to probe too often though, with the Titans coughing up the ball seven times in the first half to stunt any momentum their solid defence had earnt them.

 

Canberra slowly exploited that, Jarrod Croker kicking two penalties for a 4-0 lead as the rain pelted down.

 

Sia Soliola was first to Josh Hodgson's grubber on the stroke of half time for a 10-0 lead.

 

Another Michael Gordon knock-on to start the second half - one of a combined 27 errors for the match - afforded the Raiders the platform for more points and Joey Leilua obliged on the right edge.

 

Iosia Soliola of the Raiders scores a try.
Iosia Soliola of the Raiders scores a try.

 

Brimson had a try disallowed before winger Bailey Simonsson scored on debut and an Aidan Sezer field goal sealed the win for Ricky Stuart's men.

 

Raiders battering ram Josh Papalii relished the contest against Queensland Origin teammates Jarrod Wallace and Jai Arrow, while Englishman John Bateman impressed in his NRL debut.

 

CANBERRA 21 (J Leilua B Simonsson I Soliola tries J Croker 4 goals A Sezer field goal) bt GOLD COAST 0 at Cbus Super Stadium. Referee: David Munro, Liam Kennedy. Crowd: 9,843.

 

Re-live the action in our blog below. If you can't see it click here.

News Corp Australia


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