Frightening feats as Raiders carve up Parramatta
IF the Raiders' big men don't eat you for breakfast, their flyers will have you for dessert.
That was the takeaway from Canberra's 30-18 carve up of the Eels, with the skills on show matching the downright scary size Ricky Stuart's men bring to the table.
Parramatta's Brad Arthur will walk away from this one frustrated, but not empty-handed after his side recovered from a 22-6 halftime deficit to make one hell of a game of it.
Throughout the first 40 minutes, the Eels put it on a platter and Canberra polished them off at will.
Between Junior Paulo (123 kilos), Shannon Boyd (122), Josh Papalii (114) and David Taylor (130), the Raiders kicked off proceedings boasting almost half a tonne of prime beef alone.
Making the most of a considerable spread laid upfront, there were simply breathtaking efforts from Jordan Rapana, Joey Leilua and halves Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin.
By halftime the Eels were all but done, down four tries to one with the Raiders' fearsome right edge plating up a couple of tries fit for a king.
With scores locked at 6-6 Rapana put a pair of twinkle toes to good use down the touchline before finding Blake Austin on the inside, and two minutes later the blitz was on again.
This time right hand man Leilua bagged a try as impressive as it was bizarre, picking up a Rapana bat down while being wrestled by Semi Radradra and carrying him across the try line.
Sezer had a hand in that one with a cross-field kick, just as he was behind Sia Soliola's first as well with a pinpoint grubber.
For all the Raiders' entertainment value, whenever Bevan French came into the game the Eels were cooking with gas themselves.
The pint-sized fullback finished off their opening four-pointer, dotting down after several passes stuck for a fine team try.
A Corey Norman 40-20 gave them a sniff after halftime, and it French was in the thick of it again with a cracking final pass for Michael Jennings to touch down in the 47th minute.
Five minutes later Kaysa Pritchard burrowed over from dummy-half and the Eels were in up to their eyeballs.
But scintillating solo effort from Raider Nick Cotric with 10 to go killed off the Eels' challenge.