Korea still tops suicide rate among OECD countries

#NRLRaidersSharks, @kayosports, July 17, 2021

This incident gave the Raiders an eight-point lead early in the piece.Source:FOX SPORTS

The NRL’s crackdown on high contact has divided punters this season but most can agree on one thing — match officials have struggled to implement the league’s new penalties consistently.

Commentators were left scratching their heads after a particularly contentious call in the Sharks’ clash with the Raiders on Saturday.

When Raiders forward Corey Harawira-Naera managed a one-handed offload just centimetres from the Sharks’ line, it didn’t take long for his teammates to get the ball to prolific tryscorer Jordan Rapana, who crashed over for the game’s first four-pointer.

The try was awarded on-field, before the Bunker intervened and deemed an errant hand from Brayden Trindall constituted a high tackle.

“In the process of scoring the try, Brayden Trindall has hit Jordan Rapana high,” said Bunker official Henry Perenara.

If foul play is deemed to have occurred as a try is scored, referees can choose to award the scoring team an extra shot at goal, giving the side an “eight-point try”.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night, but not everyone was convinced the incident merited the extra two points.

“I don’t know what Brayden Trindall was supposed to do,” Fox League’s Steve Roach said.

“Rapana’s diving across the line and he’s trying to make the tackle. I know he hit him high but what else could he do? He can’t disappear.”

Raiders will get their try and have the chance to get another two points!

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— Fox League (@FOXNRL) July 17, 2021

Andrew Voss added: “It’s accidental. He (Rapana) doesn’t even notice. They said you got him high — where? Rapana doesn’t flinch. Are we sure we’ve got a high tackle there? Are we sure that is a high tackle and on report?

“One of your favourite sayings Blocker, ‘Would it have knocked a maggot off a chop?’”

Gorden Tallis couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“He can’t disappear and in slow motion it looks a little bad but please, it’s a contact sport,” he said.

Voss added: “That’s outrageous that, Jordan Rapana has not even noticed that he was hit high. He just got straight up with a clenched fist. He was hit with a wet one.”

#NRLRaidersSharks, @kayosports, July 17, 2021

Back-to-back wins have kept Canberra’s finals hopes alive. (Photo by Regi Varghese/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

There was no second half fadeout this time for the Raiders who prospered from a controversial eight-point try and a savage display by a rookie teenaged fullback to thump the Sharks 34-18.

Xavier Savage. That is a name that the rugby league world will be hearing a lot about after the electrifying 19-year-old Raider blitzed Cronulla with speed and courage. Despite suffering a shoulder injury during the match, Savage iced a brilliant display with the match winning try after running for more than 200m and giving Canberra back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Coach Ricky Stuart was impressed with more than Savage’s natural gifts.

“His biggest credit on the night was that he played on with injury,” Stuart said.

“That was where he got a great tick of approval from me because a lot of players can’t play under duress like that. For a young boy just out of school he did a really good job in handling that pain.

“You can’t coach speed. He still has a lot to learn about the game but he is a very coachable young man and a credit to his mum and family up north. He won’t get ahead of himself. He did a good job and if he keeps his head down and does the work he has got a future ahead of him. He is certainly on the right track.”

The Sharks were listless early but centre Jesse Ramien was an exception and scored with a beastly charge cutting back on the inside. Sione Katoa went over soon afterwards and in the process accidentally caught Jack Wighton in the chest with the heel of his boot which had the NSW star getting attention at half-time with the scores locked at 12-all.

Savage lit up the stadium with a lightning burst for Wighton to score before Connor Tracey put Ronaldo Mulitalo over to give the Sharks an 18-16 lead, despite Canberra dominating nearly every facet of play.

Hudson Young sprinted away to give the Raiders the lead before Savage stamped a man of the match display with the match sealer.

No fading

The Raiders had scored the first try in nine of their previous 11 outings but had won just three of them. In the process they acquired the tag of the Canberra “faders” after multiple second half implosions. They were in first again at Robina but this time they did not give it up. Now in ninth on the ladder, and equal on 16 points with eighth placed Cronulla, they have a tough draw ahead but have given themselves a shot at playing finals football.

Stuart said his players had made the move to the Gold Coast bubble determined to succeed.

“The boys like every other team have had a unique week. It is through some great efforts from Andrew Abdo and his team to have us still playing. It is a credit to him and his leaders. We have a job to keep performing and so far everyone would be happy with the level of football we have seen.”

#NRLRaidersSharks, @kayosports, July 17, 2021

The Sharks hit back shortly after the eight-point try and the sides were locked up at the break. (Photo by Regi Varghese/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Woods’ whirlwind week

What a week for Sharks skipper Aaron Woods. It had everything…planes, training, automobiles and a baby. After he and wife Sarah welcomed the birth of a baby girl on Wednesday the veteran prop took a charter flight to join his Cronulla teammates in camp on the Gold Coast in an emphatic display of the sacrifices the players are prepared to make for their clubs and to keep the game going in the most challenging of times. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to celebrate with a win.

Sharks coach Josh Hannay said his team was “way off the mark” but singled Woods and his partner out for praise.

“First and foremost for Aaron I think it is an incredible sacrifice by him and his partner,” he said.

“It is a testament to Woodsy and his approach to his job. He puts the team first regularly.”

Savage Raider

Savage by name and by nature. Savage is a star of the future and showed why at the start of the second half when he burned four Sharks with blistering speed to set up a try for Wighton. Dangerous every time he got his hands on the ball, Savage has explosive speed off the mark and oozes confidence. He will give Raiders fans hope that a late run to the finals is a reality. The standout aspect of his display was that he played much of the second half under duress.

Creative Corey

The Raiders did not die wondering with their finals hopes in the balance and by half-time led the Sharks in the offloading department 14-1. Back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera had four of them with one leading to a try to Rapana and the other to a line break. He maintained the rage in the second half. It was the former Bulldog’s best game of the season.

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