Raider fitness fades 

LOCALS Jake Lewis, Tom Chapman, Jason Gray and Zach Hart featured in a trial match between the Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers U20s sides at Workers Arena on Saturday.

Unfortunately Penrith got the better of them, winning 24-4, but Canberra manager Barry Molyneux told the Post it wasn’t about the winning.

“Today was an opportunity for our triallists to put their best foot forward, and to go on playing for the Raiders full time,” he said.

“We’ll probably be making some cuts after today for the squad, but we will also be giving some players the opportunity to cement a spot in the U20s side for the 2013 season.”

Raiders coach Mick Mantelli told the Post that he was a little disappointed with the loss, but was happy to see some talent come to the fore out on the paddock.

“I felt we let ourselves down a little with our catching and passing skills, and didn’t get through our structures because we were always on the back foot in our defence. Time after time the boys were getting tired, and it started to wear holes in it,” he said.

“We’re going to be making cuts this week to get our squad down to maybe 30, 33, because we’ve got 46 at the moment, so a few will be out of this team, and a few of them just didn’t step up to the mark today.”

Local Jake Lewis did well for the side, and Mantelli said that he was generally impressed with our Goulburn boys, but they needed to push through their fatigue levels.

“I thought young Jake went alright, he started well… but I think he got a bit tired towards the end,” he said.

“Tom Chapman was good early on in the game, but he let a few opportunities go by down the right edge, dropped a few balls and missed a few tackles, again Jason Gray controlled the game early, but as the match wore on the fatigue started to set in and he made a few mistakes.

All in all, they weren’t too bad, and I can’t knock them for having a go. I must say though that it was the execution over the whole day that probably let things down for us in the long run.”

The next big chance for the Raiders side will be a trial against the Melbourne Storm in Albury in early February.

The next major showdown in Goulburn will again be the Canberra Raiders up against the in- form Canterbury- Bankstown Bulldogs on February 23.

 Goulburn boy Jake Lewis palms off the Penrith defence before he gets tackled.

Goulburn boy Jake Lewis palms off the Penrith defence before he gets tackled.



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