Canberra win in golden point to survive Titans scare

Alex Mitchell |

Raiders players swarm around Jamal Fogarty after his match-winning field goal against the Titans.
Raiders players swarm around Jamal Fogarty after his match-winning field goal against the Titans.

Canberra have continued on their NRL winning way, surviving a late scare to pip Gold Coast in golden point via the boot of halfback Jamal Fogarty.

The Raiders looked to have thrown away a certain two points, having led 20-10 with just four minutes left before conceding a pair of tries to Titans winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira to head to golden point.

And Canberra even looked beaten in the extra period, but were saved by a miracle charge-down by teenage debutant Chevy Stewart to block Kieran Foran’s close-range field-goal attempt.

Moments late, another teenaged Raider, Ethan Strange, found space to break Gold Coast’s line, before Fogarty slotted his field goal to grab the 21-20 victory.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart loved the effort of his 18-year-old fullback and the play he made to save the game.

“The emotions in the sheds were probably more for Chevy,” he said. “He had a wonderful game, and the boys love Chev.

“Under fatigue, for him to have the mindset to get in there at marker knowing Kieran was going to be having the field goal … that’s been learned from a young age. 

“The whole performance was pretty professional from a discipline point of view, and we didn’t get frustrated because there were a lot of opportunities out there where we could have got really frustrated and lost our opportunity to stay on-process.”

The Raiders will still be questioning how the game even got to golden point, after dominating proceedings but failing to capitalise on their territory.

A double for winger James Schiller should have been enough for Canberra to win comfortably, with his second try coming 10 minutes from time off a botched short goal-line drop-out.

But Khan-Pereira crossed on 76 minutes thanks to a clever set-piece routine with Kelly off a scrum, before finding space to score again seconds from time.

Kelly, who’d missed a sideline conversion attempt minutes earlier, stayed calm and secured the extra two points after the siren.

James Schiller.
James Schiller scores in the corner, one of this two tries on the night. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Former Titan Fogarty again reminded his old club what they passed up on with a first-class halfback display, taking complete control of the game and assisting one try while forcing four drop-outs to go with his winning field goal.

His side had to stay patient while delivering a barrage in the opening quarter-hour, pinning the Titans deep in their own half until Schiller flew high to ground one of his bombs.

Hudson Young burst through soon after for 12-0, but a peach of a pass from Gold Coast halfback Foran allowed prop Jaimin Jolliffe to get them into the contest on the stroke of halftime.

And they were only two points down soon after the break as Harley Smith-Shields capitalised on a soft defensive effort.

It wasn’t the result the Titans were looking for but coach Des Hasler would find it hard to fault their defensive intensity as they repeatedly turned the Raiders away.

Hasler had axed Tanah Boyd and went with AJ Brimson in the halves with Foran, although the Queensland State of Origin representative was virtually unsighted as the Titans struggled early.

But Brimson came to life when shifted to fullback to cover for the injured Jayden Campbell (knee), sparking his side as they looked the more likely to grab a winning score.

Canberra second-rower Zac Hosking was in the wars throughout, departing for an HIA in the first half before returning, only to suffer a dislocated shoulder soon after.