Despite two late tries the NYC Sharks have fallen just short in going down by 24-22 to the Raiders at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
The Sharks battled hard throughout and when the Raiders scored a long-range try, followed by another four-pointer to extend their lead to 14, the result seemed assured.
However showing plenty of fight the Sharks bounced back with two tries in the last five minutes to give the Raiders a scare but unfortunately their late fightback wouldn’t be quite enough as Canberra held on to claim the win.
The Sharks began slowly, an error from the kickoff allowing the Raiders to score the opening try, before the subsequent kickoff went out on the full again inviting the home team into an attacking position.
Despite their best effort the Sharks again failed to hold their opponents out and the Raiders were up 10-0 before the young Cronulla side had even touched the ball.
From their however the Sharks did managed to work their way back into the contest, with Brad Deitz scoring off a clever show-and go to reduce the margin to six points midway through the half.
The Raiders extended their lead to 14-4 with a second try to winger Thomas Cronan, before the Sharks again hit back. Deitz was in the action again, this time the halfback throwing a well-timed pass for a charging Jesse Savage to score.
A member of the victorious Sharks SG Ball team, the try was the first in the NYC for Savage.
Jaden Clarke converted and the Sharks went to the half time break down by 14-10.
Neither side could assert any dominance on the game for the next 25 minutes with the next points coming in unlikely circumstances when a Sharks error while attacking was turned into points at the other end of the field, their winger Jack Hickson scoring a length of the field try.
The try was converted and Canberra led 20-10 with 15 minutes of the match to go.
The Raiders try against the run of play took the wind out of the sails of the Sharks, with another Raiders score, this time by centre Cameron Booth, sealing the points for the Canberra team.
Hooker Jayden Brailey scored a consolation try, diving over from dummy half for the Sharks to make it 24-16, then Curtis Scott brushed off a cover defender to touch down in the dying moments to bring the scores ever closer at 24-22 Raiders, but unfortunately it came too late to affect the final result, with Canberra side holding on for the win.
In a positive for the Sharks, youngsters Keenan Yorston and Jesse Savage in their second games in the NYC competition more than held their own, while Jaiden Brown in the halves and front rower James Jolliffe also enjoyed their first taste of under-20’s football.
The loss now leaves the NYC anchored on 17 competition points and under pressure in their quest for a finals berth.
Their next match is against the Bulldogs at Belmore on Sunday week.
Jayden Brailey, Curtis Scott, Jesse Savage, Brad Deitz tries, Jaden Clarke 3 goals
Thomas Cronan 2, Cameron Booth, Jack Hickson, Trey Williams tries, Zac Woolford 2 goals