Attacking giants Canberra Raiders’ 2016.
At the start of the Canberra Raiders’ 2016 campaign, the bookies got it all wrong. Canberra were rated as finishing 10th or lower, in short, mirroring their 2015 season. What started as a promising season, ended with a record breaking season best, with a staggering 688 points.
The start of the season wasn’t all fun and wins as the Raiders lost 5 of their first 10 games. One draw added to that tally as they settled for middle of the table. Round 11 hosted the turning point as they lost just one of their remaining games of the 2016 season.
Attacking forward play became a given as Canberra Raiders’ 2016 became the bench mark for the rest of the ladder to follow. With Captain fantastic Jarrod Croker bagging a personal 18 tries (season best), and amassed 112 kicked goals, their end of season tally was a massive 104 points better than the rest of the league.
Two massive wins stood out too, as the Raiders handed a 60-6 thrashing to the Wests Tigers in round 8. An impressive game that they owned from the get go. Second big win made the front page in round 21 with an impressive 4-54 away win against the Bunnies.
Losing out in a Grand Final place has to be at the top of their list, but a two game losing streak in round 6 and 7 hurt as they lost 36-6 to the Eels and 16-40 to the Sharks.
Defensively the Raiders took fire in just about every game. Their end of season tally for points against was 7th best with 456 points conceded.
Golden Point games
Canberra Raiders’ 2016 season hosted 4 Golden Point games, with varying results. The Newcastle Knights seemed to be a sticking point as both games resulted in Golden Point with 1 draw and 1 win.
Round 10’s GP away game to the Dragons ended in a tough game that they lost. Round 20 at home against the Warriors ended in a win, but a hard fought game none the less.
Will 2017 be as good as Canberra Raiders’ 2016?
2016 will be a seriously tough act to follow, as their 17 wins, 1 draw and 6 losses will attest, but the Raiders and Ricky Stuart have worked hard to build for the future. A solid team performance with little drama and a relative low injuries list went along way.
Next season will herald new problems for the coach to work around, such as a raid on players for the Origin call ups next season, something that they managed to minimalism this season.
2017 promises to be as good if not better than 2016, but that’s assuming that the Storm, Sharks and Cowboys all behave. In short, we think that the Raiders 2017 will definitely be a case of “watch this space”.